Scranton Has New Mediation Center
A new mediation center will serve the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Over more than two decades, there have been more than 4000 civil cases in the area court system and about 60 percent of them have been referred to mediation by the judges involved and settled without litigation.
Now, the new mediation center at the William J. Nealon Federal Building and US Courthouse will provide easy access to mediation and likely increase the number of cases that are referred to mediation.
The opening of the new center was celebrated on the courthouse’s fourth floor where mediators, judges, and court personnel joined to honor the occasion. Chief Judge Christopher C. Conner spoke to the group and said “This is your day and this center is your center. ”
Mediation can help resolve even the most complicated legal issues. It is an informal process that can be utilized at the federal level with the help of a trained mediator. The third-party helps settle negotiations, clearing the cases out of the court system and saving those involved money, time, and frustration. Most of the time the mediators are attorneys or retired judges, but there are mediators who are volunteers.
Approximately 200 to 250 cases are referred to mediation within the district’s court system. About two thirds of the cases are settled when the process is voluntary. Cases referred to mediation by a judge have a settlement rate of about 50 percent.
Experts point out that even if cases are not resolved in mediation still benefit from attempting to do so because it can narrow down the issues and allow everyone to have their say in the matter.