Referral to mediation does not automatically stay or alter the briefing schedule, nor does it delay its issuance. Unless a request for extension of the briefing schedule is submitted to and granted by the court, the case will be processed for appellate review - and parties will be expected to adhere to the established briefing and oral argument schedule - just as they would in the absence of a mediation referral.

However, the parties may determine that the chances of resolving the case would be improved if counsel were not required to engage in mediation at the same time that they are preparing their briefs. In that situation, with the concurrence of the mediator, the parties may request extension of the briefing schedule for the purposes of facilitating the mediation process.

The briefing schedule can be changed if one or more of the parties files a motion with the Court requesting such relief. The motion must meet the following standards: (1) it must represent that all parties and the mediator (who is not identified in the motion by name) consent to the change in schedule; (2) it must represent in both the caption and the first paragraph that the change is requested “to accommodate a pending mediation;” and (3) it must identify precisely the relief sought: e.g., that the case be held in abeyance or that the briefing schedule be extended by a specified number of days.

Neither the mediator nor Appellate Mediation Program staff has the authority to alter briefing schedules or to grant extensions. The parties should be aware that, in most cases, a change in the briefing schedule will also alter the oral argument date and will result in a change in the composition of the oral argument panel.