Mediation is a process in which an impartial third party, a Settlement Judge, assists the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable solution to their dispute.
The Settlement Program
The Supreme Court's Settlement Program is an ADR program. Started in 1997, since its inception, 53% of the cases assigned to the program have settled. The program is governed by the Nevada Rule of Appellate Procedure 16 ( NRAP 16 ).
How Does It Work?
Mediation is a process in which an impartial third party, a Settlement Judge, assists the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable solution to their dispute. The settlement judge doesn't decide the outcome of the case, but rather assists the parties in communicating their positions and interests in order to promote understanding, reconciliation, and a mutually acceptable solution to the dispute. In doing so, the settlement judge may ask questions, help define issues, and assist in the generation and evaluation of settlement proposals. Mediation provides the parties with an opportunity to resolve their case themselves.
The Settlement Judges
Settlement judges are required to have a high degree of training and experience in mediation skills. Most settlement judges also have significant legal experience as practicing attorneys, All settlement judges' professional biographies are available on the Nevada Supreme Court Web Site.
Can A Settlement It Be Avoided?
Pro Per, Child Custody and Class Action matters are Exempt from the Program. Just about all other cases are in unless the settlement judge determines the case is not appropriate for mediation.
What to Expect
The settlement judge will conduct a pre-mediation telephone conference with all counsel. This conference is held to assist the settlement judge in evaluating whether the case is appropriate for mediation. If the settlement judge determines that the case is appropriate for mediation he or she will work with counsel to schedule a mediation session. Once the clerk's office sends out a notice, of inclusion in the program all appeals are stayed. this notice will include information on the settlement judge assigned to the case. Once the first notice goes out, the time for requesting and filing transcripts and filing briefs is also stayed.
Pre-Mediation Telphone Conference
The settlement judge will conduct a pre-mediation telephone conference with all counsel. This conference is held to assist the settlement judge in evaluating whether the case is appropriate for mediation. If the settlement judge determines that the case is appropriate for mediation he or she will work with counsel to schedule a mediation session. Any questions regarding scheduling of conferences or procedures to be followed during the conference should be directed to the settlement judge.
The Settlement Conference
Generally, a mediation session will start with all parties together in a joint session. The settlement judge will describe how the process works, explain the settlement judge's role and establish ground rules and an agenda for the session. Generally, parties then make opening statements. Sometimes the settlement judge will conduct the whole process in a joint session, or there may be instances where the settlement judge will meet individually with participants. If a settlement is reached, the agreement should be reduced to writing as soon as practical and then the appeal may be dismissed by motion or stipulation. If a settlement is not reached, the time lines for briefing and transcript preparation will be reinstated and the appeal will proceed. Each of the judges is free to use the mediation method he or she thinks best.
Why The Settlement Program Works?
Parties have an opportunity to work towards a solution to their dispute with an outcome everyone can accept, rather than having a court impose a decision. This is often seen as a less stressful way of resolving disputes compared to litigation. parties can avoid significant costs. Also, it's possible to resolve a case within a few days through mediation, whereas a fully briefed and argued appeal may take months to resolve. The parties may resolve all outstanding issues between them, including other related litigation. Mediated resolution can provide certainty. Intractable disputes have been resolved through mediation. A mediated settlement provides higher satisfaction for all parties.
Court Contact Information
Settlement Program Office of the Clerk Tom Harris Supervisory Staff Attorney / Settlement Program Administrator Lauraine Rimbey Settlement Program Coordinator Nevada Supreme Court Settlement Program 201 South Carson St. Carson City, NV 89701 Phone: 775-684-1600