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 thereby saving the parties the time and expense of an appeal as well as giving the parties
an opportunity to find creative solutions to their dispute.
What cases are eligible for mediation?
Any appeal, civil in nature, filed with either the Supreme Court of Alabama or the Alabama Court of
Civil Appeals, wherein all parties are represented by counsel is eligible for appellate mediation.
Selection for mediation is made on a case-by-case basis.
How are cases selected for mediation?
If the case meets the requirements (an appeal, civil in nature, wherein all parties are presented by
counsel) and the Administrator determines the appeal is a possible candidate for appellate mediation,
a Notice to Stay is issued to counsel by the appellate court. This notice stays all appellate proceedings.
The matter is then moved to the Appellate Mediation Docket. A Case Screening Form and Confidential
Statement Form are then issued to counsel by the Appellate Mediation Office. These forms, as well as
additional documents required to be filed by appellant’s counsel, are then reviewed by the
Appellate Mediation Administrator for the court in which the appeal was filed. The Administrator
shall determine if the case is appropriate for mediation and if so, the case is referred to mediation.
The stay, issued by the appellate court, remains in place until the completion of the mediation process.
How will the mediators be selected?
The parties shall first be given the opportunity to mutually select their mediator. The program has an
approved list of appellate mediators, consisting of mediators who have completed the requirements set forth
in Rule 4(a)(1), Alabama Rules of Appellate Mediation. A copy of this roster is provided to counsel with the
Order of Referral to Mediation to assist them in jointly selecting their mediator. Parties may select a mediator
not on the roster of appellate mediators, but appellant’s counsel shall be responsible for making sure that
person meets the requirements as set forth in Rule 4(a)(2), Alabama Rules of Appellate Mediation, and make sure
that person files with the Appellate Mediation Office a completed Appellate Mediator Application. In the event
the parties do not agree on a mediator, the Appellate Mediation 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 and video conference 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.
Participation in mediation is mandatory, see Rule 55, Alabama Rules of
Appellate Procedure and Rule 5 (f), Alabama Rules of Appellate Mediation. This means attendance at the mediation sessions(s)
by a person with settlement authority is required. Settlement, however, is not mandatory.
How will mediation affect the appellate time frames?
Per the Notice to Stay, issued when the appeal was screened for possible mediation, all appellate proceedings are stayed.
The stay remains in place while the matter is on the Appellate Mediation Docket. In the event the parties do not settle the
matter at mediation, the appeal is then reinstated to the appellate docket and the appellate proceedings and filing times
begin as of the date of the reinstatement.
What will the mediation cost?
Mediator’s fees vary. The fees are noted on the roster in the profile for each mediator. The mediator’s fee and incidental expenses
shall be shared equally between the parties, unless otherwise determined by the final mediation agreement. The mediator may
require an advance deposit. Arrangements for payment is coordinated directly with the mediator. Attorneys for each party
shall see to prompt payment to the mediator.
What if I cannot afford mediation?
If a party believes payment of mediator fees will cause an undue financial hardship on that party, the party may file a
Motion for Waiver of Mediator's Fees and Affidavit of Substantial Hardship with the Appellate Mediation Office. See
Alabama Rules of Appellate Mediation. The of both the motion and affidavit should be filed with the Appellate Mediation Office
as soon as possible after receiving the Order of Referral to Mediation and prior to the parties selecting a mediator.
What if I need more than the 63-day period allotted to mediate my case?
We understand circumstances sometimes require the need for an extension to complete mediation. Only the mediator may request an
Rule 5 (e), Alabama Appellate Mediation.
The mediator may request an extension by emailing our office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The email should include the reason for the need of an extension and either the agreed upon date of the mediation session, or a specific amount of time requested to complete the mediation.
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 involved in the mediation program or in attendance at the mediation, except as permitted
by under Rule 8, Alabama Rules of Appellate Mediation, by statute, or by the Alabama Rules of Appellate Procedure. For more information
Rule 8, Alabama Rules of Appellate Mediation.
Appellate Mediation Rules.