We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Court Mediation?

By John Kinsellagh
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
MyLawQuestions is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At MyLawQuestions, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

In the United States, court mediation refers to a procedure offered, by local district courts, to litigants as a means to expeditiously settle a dispute, without the need for further litigation. Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process in which a neutral third party, through active consultation with the parties, seeks to negotiate a settlement of the case. Mediators are skilled in conflict resolution techniques, and take a proactive role in the settlement process by urging the parties to move away from their initial, intractable bargaining positions and toward accommodation. A mediator will usually have a thorough understanding of the facts and circumstances of the parties’ case, as well as the applicable law. During the court mediation process, it is not uncommon for a mediator, in an attempt to induce a negotiated settlement, to illustrate to one or both of the parties the weaknesses in their respective court cases.

Civil litigation can be a costly, time-consuming, and protracted process. Although most civil cases in the United States are settled prior to trial, due to the posturing that occurs between parties during the normal phases of the civil litigation process, usually a settlement is not reached until shortly before trial. The goal of court mediation is to afford the parties an opportunity to settle the case at the initial stages of litigation, rather than waiting shortly before a trial date has been scheduled to resolve the dispute. Resolution of the case at the early stages saves both litigants time and money, and relieves the court system of pending cases on its docket.

The court mediation process can be either mandatory or voluntary. Many jurisdictions make continuation with the civil litigation process contingent upon participation in a court mediation session. If the parties are unable to resolve the dispute through mediation, they are free to proceed with the civil litigation process in the court system. Most courts will appoint a mediator for the parties, and schedule a mandatory mediation session shortly after a defendant has filed his response to a civil complaint.

Court mediation affords tangible benefits to both litigants as well as to the courts. If court mediation is successful in resolving the dispute at the early stages of litigation, it lessens the administrative burden on the court system. Having a dispute resolved through mediation at the beginning stages of litigation saves the parties both time and money, and eliminates the uncertainties and risks of a trial.

MyLawQuestions is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By jennythelib — On Jun 15, 2011

@alexthan - I'm pretty sure that the parties involved pay the mediator, but because it results in a smoother process, it keeps costs down. Compared to a protracted wrangle in divorce court, for instance, mediation looks awfully cheap.

The only thing with family court is that when there's abuse, mediation is not appropriate. The abuse victim may be too frightened to stand up for what they want and may just give in. Mediators have to watch for abuse, but cases are also supposed to be pre-screened.

By alexethan — On Jun 15, 2011

Does the court usually pay for a mediator, or do the people involved have to pay out of their pockets? If the court pays them, that would be one less thing to worry about.

I am unfortunately having to go court mediation over a land dispute with my siblings. Our mother recently died, and her will was unclear as to how their land (my parents lived on a huge farm) was to be divided up, and my dad died a long time ago without a will.

I really hope that I can get some sort of funding, because this thing has been a total pain.

MyLawQuestions, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

MyLawQuestions, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.