Mediation in Civil Trial Courts

Mediation, Inc. is available to provide mediation services for civil matters in North Carolina state courts and in federal courts.

NC State Courts

Mediation is now mandatory in all civil cases in the Superior Courts of North Carolina.  Shortly after a case is filed, the court will order the litigants, their attorneys and others, such as insurance claims representatives, to attend a mediated settlement conference (mediation) where they will negotiate a settlement of their lawsuit.

Mediation has worked well as a case management tool in our court system, so well that currently only 4-5% of our cases are tried.  But the mediation process has also worked well from the standpoint of the litigants and their attorneys.  Litigants are much more involved in the negotiation process than they used to be, and in mediation they are able to fashion creative solutions for themselves.  Equally important is the fact that an early settlement in mediation will help the parties avoid the costly and time-consuming process of preparing for and conducting a trial of the case.

We encourage attorneys to choose and notify their mediators as soon as possible in the litigation process and to bear in mind that your mediator may be helpful in streamlining the discovery process leading to litigation. Many disputes occur during the discovery process of a case, resulting in hours of unproductive arguments and distractions that keep the attorneys from moving the case toward resolution. Keep in mind that a mediator can assist with discovery disputes as well as well as mediate the ultimate resolution of your case.

Andy Little was a litigator for almost two decades and he understands how difficult the path through discovery can be. He also understands how difficult it is to schedule a mediation that is convenient to all parties and other participants in mediation. Let us take that scheduling burden off your shoulders, so that you can devote your and your clients’ time to prepare for negotiations.

Civil cases in NC with an amount in controversy of $25,000 or less usually are tried in District Court. Many of those cases, personal injury and auto accident collisions that used to be heard in Superior Court before the jurisdictional limits for Superior Court were raised from $10,000 to $25,000, are now handled in the District Courts and are not subject to mandatory mediation. Instead, they are handled in a mandatory program of non-binding arbitration that is heard within one hour.

Many lawyers and their clients would like for those cases to be dealt with in mediation. One reason is that the parties have more control over the outcome of the case in mediation than in arbitration. A second reason is that parties and their attorneys have come to prefer a negotiated settlement process to resolve cases rather than to a trial of the case in arbitration. It is possible to be excused from Arbitration and voluntarily agree to settle a District Court case through mediation.

We can assist you with that process. Contact us today at 919-967-6611 or

Federal Courts

Civil Litigation also occurs in the three Federal District Courts in North Carolina. Sometimes these cases involve issues arising under Federal Statutes or Federal regulatory law. However, other civil cases heard in Federal District Courts look very much like State court lawsuits. That is, they are based in NC law found in contract, corporation, negligence and other NC legal theory, and they often use NC procedural law in trying them.

There is mandatory mediation for most civil litigation in the Federal courts, and the process is similar to the State court mediation process. The parties and their attorneys are ordered to attend a mediation; they have a right to select their own mediator; and the parties pay the mediators for their efforts to settle the case.

If you need help in navigating the Federal mediation process, feel free to:

Contact us at 919-967-6611 or