Due to COVID-19, court-ordered mediations under DRC programs shall be conducted remotely. If the mediator, all parties, and any other persons required to attend agree to waive the requirement to conduct a remote mediation, and comply with all federal, state and local safety guidelines that have been issued, they may conduct the mediation in person. Rule 4 of the MSC, FFS and Clerk Rules and Rule 5 of the DCC Rules provide that a mediation shall be conducted via electronic means. With the agreement of all parties, and ability to comply with safety guidelines, the parties may conduct the mediation in person. The parties may also seek an order from the court to conduct the mediation in person. If all parties do not consent to hold the mediation in person, and absent an order from the court, the matter shall be held through remote technology.
*Nothing in the Rules prohibits a mediator from establishing stricter health requirements for a mediation conference.
*Any mediation conducted in person shall be done in strict compliance with all executive orders and social distancing requirements. All parties to the mediation shall use appropriate social distancing practices and safety procedures. The NCDRC recommends all parties follow the three W’s: wear a cloth face covering, wait 6 feet apart and avoid close contact, and wash your hands often. Please stay informed of all local and state policies that are in place to ensure best practices are followed.
The Mediated Settlement Conference Program is designed to offer parties, with the help of their attorneys and a mediator, an opportunity and the support they need to settle their cases earlier. During a mediated settlement conference, the parties, their attorneys, and a mediator are required to sit down together to discuss the matters in dispute and to try and resolve them. The conference will typically occur relatively early in the litigation process, but after parties have had time to conduct discovery and learn about the case.
Rule 1.(c).(1) of the Rules of the North Carolina Supreme Court Implementing Statewide Mediated Settlement Conferences in Superior Court Civil Actions provides that a senior resident superior court judge may, by written order, require parties, their attorneys, and a representative of any insurance carrier involved in the litigation to attend a pre-trial mediated settlement conference in any civil action except an action in which a party is seeking the issuance of an extraordinary writ or is appealing the revocation of a motor vehicle operator’s license. The program is operating in all N.C. superior court districts and most senior resident superior court judges routinely refer all eligible cases. Common types of cases mediated include automobile negligence actions, contract actions, other business disputes, malpractice cases, and construction defect cases. A party who believes there is some compelling reason why his or her case should not be mediated may ask the court to dispense with mediation. However, most senior resident Superior Court judges are reluctant to grant such requests. Once a case is ordered to mediation, the parties, their attorneys, and a representative of any insurance carrier involved must attend, unless the attendance requirement has been excused or modified by agreement of all the parties and the mediator or by order of the judge.
Information for Parties without Attorneys If you will be participating in a mediation without an attorney, please be aware that, while the mediator will do his or her best to ensure a civil and full discussion of the issues, s/he cannot give legal advice to anyone participating in the conference.
The Rules Implementing Statewide Mediated Settlement Conferences in Superior Court Civil Actions (MSC Rules) were first adopted by the Supreme Court in 1991, pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7A-38.1. The Rules provide a framework for expediting settlement of superior court civil actions. The MSC Rules were amended on November 17, 2020, with an effective date of November 23, 2020.
Forms for Mediated Settlement Conferences
- AOC-CV-811 - Order For Mediated Settlement Conference In Superior Court And Trial Calendar Notice
- AOC-CV-812 - Designation Of Mediator in Superior Court Civil Action
- AOC-CV-813 - Report Of Mediator In Superior Court Civil Action
- AOC-CV-814 - Petition And Order For Relief From Obligation To Pay Mediator's Fee
- AOC-CV-815 - Motion And Order For Show Cause Hearing
- AOC-CV-816 - Order Of Contempt For Non-Payment Of Mediator's Fees
- AOC-DRC-01 - Application for Certification to Conduct Superior Court Mediations
- AOC-DRC-05 - Dispute Resolution Commission Complaint
- AOC-DRC-07 - Certificate Of Observation
- AOC-DRC-09 - Mediator Evaluation Form
- AOC-DRC-15 - Mediated Settlement Agreement MSC Program (MSC Rule 4.C)
- AOC-DRC-16 - Mediated Settlement Agreement MSC Program (MSC Rule 4.C)
- AOC-DRC-18 - Mediation Summary
- AOC-DRC-19 - Order without Motion Extending Completion Date for Mediated Settlement Conference or Other Settlement Procedures Upon Stipulation of the Parties, Suggestion of the Mediator, or Upon the Court’s Own Order
- AOC-DRC-20 - Notice of Withdrawal/Disqualification Of Mediator and Order for Substitution of Mediator
Forms for Other Available Superior Court Dispute Resolution Procedures (Neutral Evaluation, Arbitration, Summary Jury Trial (Jury or Non-Jury)
- AOC-CV-817 - Report Of Neutral Conducting Settlement Procedure Other Than Mediated Settlement Conference Or Arbitration In Superior Court Civil Action
- AOC-CV-818 - Motion To Use Settlement Procedure Other Than Mediated Settlement Conference In Superior Court Civil Action And Order
- AOC-CV-835 - Motion and Order Extending Completion Date for Mediated Settlement Conference or Other Settlement Procedure
- AOC-CV-836 - Consent Order For Substitution Of Mediator
Dispute Resolution Commission
PO Box 2448
Raleigh, NC 27602Telephone(919) 890-1415