Contact Information

Address

Appellate Mediation Office 300 Dexter Avenue Montgomery, AL 36104 334.229.0656
mediation@appellate.state.al.us

Contacts

Michelle Ohme
Executive Director
Supreme Court Administrator
334.229.0656
mediation@appellate.state.al.us

Lynn DeVaughn
Court of Civil Appeals Administrator
334.229.0732
ldevaughn@appellate.state.al.us




Links

Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution

Appellate Mediation Program Overview

The Alabama Appellate Mediation Program was implemented to provide the parties to an appeal with an alternative method for resolving their dispute. Mediation takes place early in the appellate process in order to save the parties the time and expense of an appeal and to give the parties an opportunity to find creative solutions to the dispute.

Authorized by Rule 55, Alabama Rules of Appellate Procedure, and the Alabama Rules of Appellate Mediation, the program will allow for mediation of counseled civil appeals pending in the Supreme Court of Alabama and the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals. Civil appeals include appeals from property line disputes, personal injury actions, divorce, dependency actions, and probate matters, to name a few. Criminal appeals will not be eligible for mediation. Selection for mediation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Advantages to Appellate Mediation
Pre-Mediation Procedures

Record and transcript preparation will be stayed in appellate cases which may be referred to mediation. The appellate mediation administrator for the court will review the Case-Screening Form and Confidential Statement returned to the office and, if the case is referred to mediation, all appellate proceedings will be stayed from the date of the Order of Referral to Mediation.

Parties will be given the opportunity to mutually select a mediator. A roster of approved appellate mediators will be provided. The appellate mediators on the roster are attorneys on the Alabama State Court Mediation Roster who have successfully completed a specialized appellate mediation training sponsored by the Appellate Mediation Office.

In the event the parties do not agree on a mediator, the appellate mediation administrator will assign a mediator from the roster of approved mediators.

The Mediation Process

The mediator shall coordinate the time, place, and procedure for the mediation, including the filing of any mediation summaries. The mediation session(s) shall be held at a convenient location. Telephonic mediation may be used if agreed to by the mediator.

The mediator does not have the authority to impose a settlement upon the parties. The role of the mediator is to assist the parties in reaching a satisfactory resolution of their dispute.

At the mediation session, all parties present a summary of their point of view. Typically, the mediator will then meet privately (caucus) with each party to explore more fully the facts and issues of each side. The goal is for the parties to come up with their own solution to the problem by way of an agreement.

After a mediation has been completed, the court will dispose of the case if the mediation was successful. Disposition of the case might involve dismissal of the appeal, remand to the trial court for approval of a settlement agreement which requires court approval, or entry of a stipulated order called for by the mediated agreement. If a mediation is at an impasse, the appeal will be reinstated on the appellate docket and the stay of proceedings lifted. All appellate time requirements shall resume.