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Serving Litigants and their Counsel Since 1981

The Office of the Circuit Mediators initiates and facilitates confidential settlement discussions in Sixth Circuit civil appeals and Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (BAP) cases. Goals secondary to settlement include clarification of the issues to be presented on appeal and prevention or elimination of procedural problems that can be avoided by agreement.

Cases can be selected for mediation in several ways. Most are randomly selected by the mediation office and scheduled routinely from the pool of eligible fully counseled civil appeals. Cases also may be scheduled at the request of one or more of the parties. Occasionally, cases are referred by hearing panels just before or after oral argument. The majority of initial conferences are conducted by telephone, although counsel are invited to suggest in-person conferences when they think it might increase chances of settlement.

The office employs four mediators, all in Cincinnati. All are lawyers with varied prior experience, and all have extensive mediation and/or negotiation training. While each mediator's style may differ, all employ a facilitative approach in which they are more likely to try to assist counsel in exploring settlement options, evaluating the merits of appellate issues, and appraising the settlement value of the case, than to urge specific solutions.