Case Mediation Section History

In 1998, the Supreme Court of Ohio undertook providing mediation services in its Master Commissioners' Office. The services began as an experimental pilot effort in 1997 to resolve specific types of cases. Throughout this phase, the Master Commissioners' Office mediated approximately a dozen cases involving real estate valuations, public records, open meetings, and teacher-tenure issues.

When the pilot program proved successful, the Court adopted rule XIV, Section 6 of the Rules of Practice of the Supreme Court of Ohio on July 7, 1999, which provides for referring cases to settlement conferences. The categories of cases for referral include cases originating in the courts of appeals, appeals from administrative agencies, original actions, and non-felony cases the Court deems appropriate.

In the summer of 2001, the Court, on securing the support of the Industrial Commission, undertook mediating appeals of workers' compensation cases originating in the Court of Appeals for Franklin County, more than doubling the mediation caseload. Four years after the Court began providing mediation services, on July 1, 2002, the Court established the Case Mediation Section as a discrete section, recognizing the distinct role of the section in resolving cases and further assuring the confidentiality of the information disclosed in the conferences.