A settlement conference is a type of mediation required by the court before parties go to trial in a civil dispute.

The Settlement Conference is run by an attorney-mediator with qualified knowledge of the law. The attorney-mediator does not advise or advocate for the parties, but facilitates negotiations, asks questions to achieve a mutually satisfactory outcome, and may assist the parties in writing agreements.

Generally speaking, the parties and their attorneys are scheduled to be in separate rooms and the mediator is assigned his/her own room. The mediator will meet with each party individually, unless the parties agree to meet together in one room.

After the Settlement Conference is closed, the Center may send a Settlement Conference Report to the Court as proof that the parties have fulfilled their pretrial requirement.

CDR is the only dispute resolution center in the state of Washington that coordinates pre-trial settlement conferences. Other available options are limited to judicial settlement conferences, when available at the courthouse, and private mediators.

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