Court-sponsored appellate mediation is a flexible, confidential process in which the parties to an appeal utilize a neutral person, trained and appointed by the court, to help them seek a negotiated solution to their case. The decision whether or not to settle a case remains with the parties. If no agreement is reached, the case continues through appeal to a decision.

The mediation process involves one or more sessions in which counsel, persons with settlement authority, and the mediator participate. Most mediations are conducted in person, though in some circumstances one or more of the parties may participate via video or telephone conference.

The mediator has no power to render a decision or dictate a settlement. His or her function is exclusively to help the parties understand their risks and options, and reach an agreement if that is possible. Because mediation is an inherently flexible alternative to the formal court process, the parties can consider solutions involving things not encompassed by the cases presently pending before the court, but of interest to the parties. For that reason, agreements reached in mediation have the potential to be even more comprehensive, creative and satisfying to the parties than what might be achieved in a decision rendered by the court.