Court Annexed Mediation Program
Mediation is a process in which a neutral person, called a mediator, facilitates and encourages parties to resolve their dispute. It is an informal and nonadversarial process designed to help litigants reach a mutually acceptable and voluntary agreement. The decision to settle rests entirely with the parties; the mediator does not decide how the dispute should be resolved. Instead, the primary role of the mediator is to assist the parties in identifying issues, finding areas of agreement, and exploring settlement possibilities.
In the Second Judicial District Court, participation in the Court Annexed Mediation Program is voluntary. This program was designed to offer an alternative to parties who otherwise would be required to arbitrate their case in the Court Annexed Arbitration Program. Parties who opt for the Court's mediation program are not required to arbitrate. If the mediation is not successful, the parties will proceed to trial.
Mediation is an increasingly popular form of ADR. It is substantially less expensive than traditional litigation, and much quicker. A neutral mediator can provide parties with a fresh look at their conflict and at potential solutions. Perhaps its most attractive feature is that the outcome is determined exclusively by the parties, who can even agree to solutions that a court would be unable to order. Particularly when ongoing relationships are important, mediation allows the parties to end their dispute cooperatively, so that important relationships are repaired and preserved.
Parties in cases assigned to the Court Annexed Mediation Program generally are responsible for their mediator's costs and fees. The mediator's costs may not exceed $250, and the mediator's generally may not charge more than $1,000 in fees. The costs and fees of the mediator are shared equally by the parties (unless the parties agree otherwise).
Cases assigned to the Court Annexed Mediation Program are governed by the Nevada Mediation Rules (often abbreviated "NMR"). Those rules contain provisions addressing many aspects of the program, including:
- Appointment of the mediator
- Deadlines applicable to cases in the program
- Conduct of the mediation
- Reporting the results of the mediation
- Costs and fees for the mediator
- Confidentiality of mediation proceedings