Using Appellate Mediation
Mediation at the First District Court of Court of Appeals is a collaborative, confidential meeting with the Court’s mediator, Sarah M. Foster, who will guide the parties and their attorneys through discussions designed to explore settlement options.
An early appellate mediation session can save months of time, money, and energy. Mediations on appeal are often successful because the process empowers the parties to create their own solutions and exercise control over the outcome, rather than risk an adverse court decision.
Which Cases are Eligible?
The Court offers mediation services for most civil appeals coming from the Hamilton County Common Pleas, Municipal, Domestic Relations, Probate, and Juvenile Courts, as well as original actions. Local Rule 20.2 governs the Court’s mediation procedure.
The mediator screens all cases for eligibility upon the filing of the notice of appeal. In order to be eligible, the appeal must be from a final, appealable order issued in a lower court.
Mediation is prohibited in the following types of cases: as an alternative to prosecution or adjudication of domestic violence; in determining whether to grant, modify, or terminate a protection order; in determining the terms and conditions of a protection order; in determining the penalty for violation of a protection order.
There may be case-specific reasons that an appeal is not selected for mediation. If a case is not selected for mediation, parties may file a request for mediation.
First Step: Pre-mediation Conference
In all eligible cases, the mediator automatically schedules a pre-mediation conference with attorneys or unrepresented parties. Attorney attendance at these conferences is mandatory, but represented parties are not expected to participate.
The purpose of this conference is to schedule a full mediation with clients, discuss case history, the issues on appeal, previous settlement efforts, any potential conflicts, confidentiality, and the mediation process.
Next Step: Mediation
Cases are scheduled for mediation approximately three to four weeks after the pre-mediation conference. These cases are eligible to have their briefing and record deadlines placed on a stay. If mediation is not successful, the stay will be lifted and deadlines will be issued.
Counsel shall complete and return a Confidential Mediation Information Sheet to the mediation attorney at least 10 days prior to the mediation. Mediations are held either in-person at the 12th Floor Conference Room at the Taft Law Center or online using Zoom, taking into consideration the parties’ needs and preferences.
Final Step: Resolution
If Case Settles – A joint dismissal or other termination will be filed.
If Case Does Not Settle – Any prior mediation stay will be lifted and a new scheduling order with new deadlines will be issued.