Mediation in the Ninth District Court
What is mediation?
Mediation is a process in which a
neutral mediator meets with the parties to a case to discuss resolving
the dispute by agreement. The mediator does not make a decision
regarding the outcome of the case and is not an advocate for any party
during the mediation.
Why mediate cases in the Court
While settlement discussions are common
in the trial court, those discussions often end once a case has been
appealed. Appellate mediation provides a window of opportunity for
resolution before the parties have invested time and resources in the
What cases are eligible for
Local Rule 16 of the Ninth District
Court of Appeals provides that all civil and administrative appeals
are eligible for mediation. Original actions may be scheduled for a
mediation conference when appropriate.
How will I know whether my
case has been selected for mediation?
Counsel will receive written notice
that a mediation conference has been scheduled, and will be advised of
the date, time, and location. Parties who are not represented by an
attorney will be notified directly.
Where are mediation
The Court will attempt to schedule
mediation cases in the county in which the appeal originates. The
Mediation Attorney, however, has the discretion to schedule a
mediation conference in another county within the Ninth District or by
Does mediation alter the
timelines for filing the record or the briefs?
No. Notice that an appeal has been
selected for mediation does not automatically extend these timelines.
Before the mediation conference, parties may request an extension by
calling the Mediation Attorney directly or by filing a motion with the
Court. After that time, extensions may be granted upon the
recommendation of the Mediation Attorney if it appears that the
parties are participating in the mediation process in good faith.
Is participation in a
mediation conference optional?
No. Participation is mandatory,
whether the conference is scheduled by the Court or at the request of
a party. If you have concerns regarding participation in the
mediation conference, you may contact the Mediation Attorney.
Must each party’s lead counsel
attend the mediation conference?
Yes. Every party who is represented by
counsel must be represented at the mediation conference by an attorney
who is not only conversant with the case, but is the attorney on whose
advice the party relies. If more than one attorney meets these
criteria, either may represent the party at the mediation conference.
Please note that failure to comply may result in the imposition of
sanctions as provided in Local Rule 16 of the Ninth District Court of
Are parties required to attend
the mediation conference?
Yes. Unless excused in advance by the
Mediation Attorney, clients must attend the mediation conference with
counsel. Any party who is excused from attending the mediation
conference in person must be available by telephone.
Do I have to have an attorney
to participate in mediation?
No. You are strongly encouraged to
seek the advice of an attorney, but it is not a prerequisite to
participating in the mediation conference. Please remember, however,
that the Mediation Attorney will not represent you during the
mediation conference and cannot provide you with legal advice.
What if I have an unavoidable
conflict with the date and time of the mediation conference?
If you need to reschedule, contact the
Mediation Attorney at (330) 643-2250. Alternative dates and times
will be provided to you. Attorneys who request that a mediation
conference be rescheduled are responsible for contacting all other
counsel on the case to select an alternative date. Once a date has
been selected, the rescheduling attorney must confirm the date and
time with the Mediation Attorney.
How long will the mediation
You should set aside at least two hours
for the mediation conference. The Mediation Attorney may extend the
conference beyond two hours if necessary or may work with the parties
to schedule additional conferences as needed.
What happens during the
The mediation conference is an official
proceeding of the Ninth District Court of Appeals, but you can expect
the conference to be conducted in a less formal manner. The mediation
conference will be attended by the Mediation Attorney, the parties,
and their attorneys if they are represented. The mediation conference
is not an opportunity to argue your case to the Court, and there will
be no judges present. You can expect that the conference may begin
with a discussion of the procedural aspects of the appeal. Once
procedural issues have been addressed, the primary substantive issues
and the anticipated assignments of error will be discussed. The
mediation conference will then focus on actively exploring resolution
of the case through the mediation process. The Mediation Attorney may
meet separately with the parties and their respective attorneys. The
discussion will focus on the possible outcomes of the appeal and the
costs involved in pursuing an appeal to decision; the interests and
motivations of all parties; and benefits of resolution of the
dispute. You will be encouraged to think creatively.
What is the role of the
Mediation Attorney during the mediation conference?
The Mediation Attorney is not an
advocate for any party during the mediation conference. She will not
make a decision in your case or make any recommendations to the judges
of the Court of Appeals. The Mediation Attorney will encourage
neutral analysis of your dispute and may assist in the generation of
possible outcomes for resolution. Although active in the discussions,
the Mediation Attorney will remain impartial. The Mediation Attorney
will maintain the confidences of the parties and cannot communicate
with the Court about what is discussed during the mediation
Are Mediation Conferences
Mediation in the Ninth District Court
of Appeals is subject to the provisions of the Uniform Mediation Act (UMA),
Ohio Revised Code Chapter 2710. Communications between the parties in
the course of mediation are confidential to the extent that the
parties agree. You will be given an opportunity to sign a
confidentiality agreement at the beginning of the mediation
conference, but you are encouraged to consider confidentiality in
advance. The UMA also limits the ability of parties and other
mediation participants to testify about conversations that occur
during the mediation conference.
Will the judges of the Court
of Appeals know what happens during the mediation conference?
No. The Mediation Attorney cannot
reveal any communications made in the course of mediation to the
judges of the Court of Appeals and can make no recommendations to the
Court about the outcome of the appeal. If the parties are unable to
reach a resolution, the appeal is not affected.
How should I prepare for the
Counsel should consult with their
clients before the mediation conference to obtain settlement authority
and should be thoroughly familiar with the facts and legal issues on
appeal and be prepared to discuss them during the mediation
conference. This includes not only the substantive issues in the
case, but matters of appellate procedure that bear on the possible
outcome of the appeal, such as the nature of the record on appeal, the
standard of review, and preservation of error in the trial court.
Counsel are encouraged to evaluate in advance what the consequences of
a successful appeal will be for their client(s) and to discuss the
advantages and disadvantages of pursing the appeal to conclusion with
the client(s) with respect to time and expense.
Mediation home page.