Supreme Court of Alabama

Contact Information

Address

Appellate Mediation Office
300 Dexter Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36104
334.229.0656
mediation@alappeals.gov

Contacts

Michelle Ohme
Executive Director
Supreme Court Administrator
334.229.0656
michelle.ohme@alappeals.gov

Lynn DeVaughn
Court of Civil Appeals Administrator
334.229.0732
lynn.devaughn@alappeals.gov

Appellate Mediation Program FAQs

What is the purpose of the Appellate Mediation Program?

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.

What cases are eligible for 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.

How will cases be selected for mediation?

If the case meets the threshold requirements for mediation (final civil appeals with counsel on all sides), the parties will receive a Case Screening form and Confidential Statement to complete and return to the Appellate Mediation Office. The Case Screening form and Confidential Statement will be reviewed by the Appellate Mediation Administrator of the court in which the appeal was filed to decide if the case is appropriate for mediation. If the case is referred to mediation, all appellate proceedings will be stayed from the date of the Order of Referral to Mediation.

How will the mediators be selected?

The program has an approved list of appellate mediators, consisting of mediators registered with the Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution as either circuit civil mediators or family mediators who have taken specialized appellate mediation training sponsored by the court. The parties shall first be given the opportunity to mutually select a mediator from the approved roster to mediate their case. In the event the parties do not agree on a mediator, the Appellate Mediator Administrator will appoint a mediator from the roster.

How will the mediation be conducted?

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 any location convenient to the mediator and the parties. 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.

How will mediation affect the appellate time frames?

The parties will be entitled to an extension of all deadlines upon the program's issuance of the Case Screening form and Confidential Statement. In the event the court orders the case to mediation, all appellate deadlines will be stayed until mediation is completed.

What will the mediation cost?

Mediator's fees vary depending upon the type of case and mediator's preference. Some mediators charge a flat rate, whereas others charge an hourly rate. All costs are to be equally divided between the parties. Mediators will bill the parties directly and the parties will be responsible for payment to the mediators in a timely manner.

What if I cannot afford mediation?

In the event the mediation fees would cause undue financial hardship for a party, a statement to that effect signed by party and by counsel shall be filed with the mediation administrator of the court. If approved by the court, a mediator randomly selected from the list will conduct the mediation without payment by the party.

What if I need more than the 63-day period allotted to mediate my case?

See Rule 5 (e), Alabama Appellate Mediation Rules. Only the mediator may request an extension. To request an extension please call the Appellate Mediation Office at 334-229-0656 or email us at mediation@appellate.state.al.us. We understand scheduling may be difficult and we are always willing to assist with extensions.

Will mediation be kept confidential?

All information disclosed in the course of the mediation process, including oral, documentary, or electronic information, shall be deemed confidential and shall not be disclosed by anyone in attendance at the mediation, except as permitted by Rule 55, ARAP, and Alabama Appellate Mediation Rules.

Contact Information


Supreme Court of Alabama
334.229.0700
Court of Civil Appeals
334.229.0733
Court of Criminal Appeals
334.229.0751
State Law Library
334.229.0578