I have a very broad question concerning post mediation.  If the court orders mediation in a small claims case, what typically happens if the mediation session is not successful and the case reverts to the courts?  I am asking for feedback and general comments based on this limited information.  What can be expected from the courts in cases such as these?


John Turley 


Views: 77

Comment by Jeff Thompson on July 25, 2011 at 8:41pm



Great question.  From the 'few' ;) mediations that I have done that did not end in settlement in courts, I tell the people what goes on in the court room is beyond my control.  Sometimes the judge will hear their case right away, yet most times it will be rescheduled for them to come back another day.

One thing I have noticed is at times when it is not settled in mediation and the judge does hear the case right away, he/she asks them what happened and why it wasn't settled (hey, wait a second, what about mediation confidentiality??).  

From my perspective, it seems like a settlement conference and it does have success.

Hope this helps!

Comment by John C. Turley on July 25, 2011 at 10:16pm

Thanks Jeff!  Your comment is helpful.  After CU, I am getting into the real world details of the profession.  It helps to understand what the client(s) will encounter if they decvide to end the session.



Comment by Giuseppe Leone on July 27, 2011 at 1:23pm


I have recently written an article on small claims courts here in Hawaii – where mediation is mandatory.  Not only it answers your question (what happens if the parties cannot reach a mediated agreement); it also explains (a) why it is in the parties’ best interest to work out a settlement on their own; and (b) why Hawaii small claims court judges are very supportive of mediation.

I hope you will find that information useful.

Giuseppe Leone

Comment by John C. Turley on August 14, 2011 at 2:30pm

Persuant to my above question, I wish to expand my query.  Either or both sides display a considerable amount of anger during the opening of the mediation session.  In many cases, the angriest party insists on terminating the session and taking their case back to the judge.  Of course, this is a generalization that typically manifests itself during PPO cases.

Here is my need.  What may I tell the parties either at the beginning of the session or when it reaches the point of break down about what to expect from the court?  I hear a number of different comments from seasoned mediators that run the course of the mediation continuum.  For example:

a) The judge wants the case settled via mediation and wants the disputants to work things out.

b) The judge will be disappointed that the case is back on their dockett.

c) The disputants will have less time to tell their side.  The judge will move quickly to a decision.

d) Court and attorney fees are high and are not worth the additional costs.

I am not asking about the benefits of mediation.  My specific question concerns the mediator's comments about why this session is crucial for the disputants to embrace in light of the courts actions if they either fail to cooperate or insist on going to trial.  What can I tell the disputants on this subject?  I appreciate your help.





Comment by John C. Turley on August 14, 2011 at 2:41pm


I read your article which is very helpful.  I am seeking additional comments from the members.






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