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Mediation: Federal

Author: Helen Palladeno, Ogletree Deakins


  • Mediation is an informal dispute resolution process in which the parties to a dispute meet with a neutral third person, a mediator, who helps the parties reach an agreement to settle their conflict. See Mediation, Generally.
  • The mediator of a federal case is ordinarily an attorney or former judge who has been certified as a mediator in the appropriate jurisdiction. Usually, the parties jointly chose the mediator, mediation location and date. See Mediation, Generally.
  • There are no federal statutes that control mediation, but federal jurisdictions may have local rules or procedures to be followed by mediators and/or the parties who are subject to mediation. See Procedural and Substantive Statutes That Control Mediation.
  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), among other regulatory bodies, will often encourage parties to participate in mediation at the outset of the dispute. See The EEOC and Pre-Investigation Mediation.
  • In some instances of court-ordered mediation, a federal judge may assign a mediator from a list of pre-approved individuals. See Court-Ordered Mediation.
  • Most mediation follows a set pattern to be administered by the mediator. See Process of Mediation.
  • Attorneys and HR professionals can utilize several different types of negotiation techniques to arrive at the result of mediation that they and their client(s) desire. See Negotiation Strategies.
  • Once the mediator has rendered his or her decision and the parties have accepted it or settled the case, they must then seek to enforce the settlement agreement to formally end the case. This process is not without complication. See Enforcement of the Settlement Agreement.