Circuit Mediation Programs - Overview

Within the District of Columbia Circuit, both the U.S. Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Court have dispute resolution programs that provide mediation services in selected cases. These services are offered by the courts, free of charge, to enable the parties in litigation to seek ways to resolve their cases.

The Appellate and District Court Mediation Programs are separate and governed by the local rules of each court. However, both programs are administered by the circuit’s Mediation Program, housed within the Court of Appeals’ Office of the Circuit Executive and headed by the Chief Circuit Mediator. Both programs, which have been in operation for nearly 30 years, utilize a volunteer corps of accomplished, senior lawyers who are also trained, highly-experienced mediators. Our mediators have helped parties resolve a wide range of cases, including single-plaintiff employment matters, small and large-value business disputes, appeals of government decisions, rules and activities, and complex, multi-party cases such as class actions and environmental matters.

Although the rules governing the two programs differ somewhat, over the years the Appellate and District Court Mediation Programs have enabled thousands of litigants to resolve their disputes consensually, thereby avoiding time-consuming, and costly, additional legal proceedings.