A settlement conference mediation is a type of mediation required by the court before contending parties go to trial in a civil dispute.
The settlement conference mediation is run by a mediator who may either be an attorney or person with substantive knowledge about the issues to be discussed.
The mediator does not advise or advocate for either party, but simply facilitates or guides the negotiations. He or she will ask questions that will help achieve a mutually satisfactory outcome, and may assist the parties in writing agreements.
Generally speaking, in a settle conference mediation, the disputing parties and their attorneys are assigned to separate rooms and the mediator is assigned to his or her own room. Unless the parties agree to meet together in one room, the mediator will meet with each party individually, going back and forth between the two parties until a mutually satisfactory conclusion is reached.
Upon request, the Center will send a Settlement Conference Report to Pierce County Superior Court as proof that the parties have fulfilled their pre-trial 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.
This mediation process is facilitated by a retired circuit court judge trained in mediation and settlement conference skills, as well as private mediators.