What is mediation and how does it work?
Mediation is an informal process in which a neutral third party called a mediator facilitates the resolution of a dispute between two or more parties. The process is designed to help disputing parties reach an agreement on all or part of the issues in dispute. Decision-making authority remains with the parties, not the mediator. The mediator assists the parties in identifying issues, fostering joint problem solving, and exploring settlement alternatives.
What kinds of disputes are appropriate for mediation?
Mediation has been used successfully in a wide range of civil (and occasionally criminal) disputes, whether or not a court case has been filed. It works best in cases in which the parties want to work out a solution. It is particularly helpful in disputes that require creative, as well as legal solutions or in which there will be a continuing relationship between the parties.
How much does mediation cost?
Private mediators generally charge $125 - $200 per hour. Sometimes court staff or volunteer mediators are available to mediate at no cost to the parties.
How long does mediation take?
It can take one hour to many hours - one session to several. It depends on:
- The number and complexity of issues
- Number of parties
- How much you disagree
- How open you are to try to work things out
- Your emotions
- How well you can communicate
Do I have to be an attorney to be a mediator?
In Kentucky, a mediator is not required to be an attorney. In fact, it is helpful to have mediators from various vocations and backgrounds to serve the diverse types of disputes and parties.
Do I need certain training or certification to mediate in Kentucky?
You do not need certain training or certification to mediate in Kentucky unless you desire to be included on the Administrative Office of the Court's Roster of Mediators. To be review those requirements, please click the Guidelines for Mediators.
Can I mediate as a full-time vocation?
Some mediators are fortunate to mediate full-time. Most, however, practice mediation to supplement their income or as meaningful volunteer work.
Is mediation confidential?
Confidentiality has been well recognized as a necessary means of encouraging full and frank exchanges within mediation sessions. Kentucky's Model Mediation Rules provide for mediation sessions to be completely confidential except in situations where a mediator, like any adult, has a statutory duty to report allegations of neglect and/or abuse.
Why should I use mediation?
People might choose mediation for many reasons:
- Mediation may be less confrontational than dealing with the issues in open court litigation or in front of a judge
- Some people appreciate the privacy and confidentiality of mediation and seek a respectful and cooperative environment in which to make important decisions
- Mediation can save time and money
- You decide what issues to try to solve in mediation
- The mediator does not force or make agreements, you do. If there is no resolution, you still have the option of going to court.
How can I be included on the Mediator Roster?
Complete the Application to be Placed on the Mediation Roster (259KB-PDF) and return it to the Office of Mediation at the Administrative Office of the Courts. Once your application is approved, your name will be placed on the Roster and you will receive a certificate in the mail.
I have been mediating cases but have not obtained the training suggested in the Guidelines. Can I be on the Roster?
The Guidelines suggest a minimum of forty hours of training. Section 2(3) Special Provision for Mediators in Practice Prior to Adoption of the Guidelines contemplates some individuals will have been mediating prior to the Guidelines and their qualifications may not match the Guidelines exactly. Therefore, a mediator in this category may be deemed qualified under the Guidelines if certain conditions are met:
1)The mediator has engaged in a mediation practice prior to the adoption of the Guidelines (April 15, 2005).
2)The mediator completes The Application to be Placed on the Mediation Roster (259KB-PDF)
3)The mediator includes a written statement describing equivalent training and experience.
All applications are processed through the Office of Mediation of the Administrative Office of the Courts.
What purpose does the Roster serve?
Mediation is a popular method of resolving disputes today. The purpose of the Guidelines is provide the judiciary and the general public a list of mediators who have achieved the minimum criteria for training, education, experience, and ethical conduct for mediators outlined in the Guidelines.
How do I, as a mediator, find a mentor?
The Roster is a list of mediators who are already approved as Court of Justice mediators. Section 3 (18)(c)(iii) of the Guidelines allows experienced mediators to obtain their continuing mediation education credit by co-mediating or supervising new mediators. The Roster of experienced mediators is available at Mediator List. There are also two non-profit mediation services in Kentucky that provide this opportunity to newly trained mediators: Mediation Center of Kentucky, in Lexington, Kentucky www.mediationcenterofkentucky.com , and Just Solutions in Louisville, Kentucky www.just-solutions.org.
If my name is removed from the Roster, how do I get reinstated?
The Review Committee handles all reinstatement requests on a case-by-case basis. Submit to the Office of Mediation at the Administrative Office of the Courts a letter that includes an explanation of why your name was removed from the Roster and what you have done in mediation since that time. Recommendation letters are desirable.
If I am reinstated by following the above steps, when is my next reporting deadline?
Your deadline to submit CME credits is on the same schedule as if you had never been absent; unless, there has been a lapse of over 12 months. In that case, your CME reporting schedule will begin from the date of reinstatement.
May I have my name voluntarily removed from the roster at any time?
To voluntarily remove your name from the Roster, send your request by mail to the Office of Mediation of the Administrative Office of the Courts; by FAX at 502-782-8702; or email us at Contact Medation. Your name will be removed within ten working days.
I don't have an e-mail address and/or I don't want my contact information posted on the Internet. If it is not on the Internet, how does someone contact me regarding mediation?
If you do not have, or want, any of your contact information on the Internet for public viewing, the e-mail address for the Office of Mediation will be listed for you. In the event a client requests you by name, the Office of Mediation will notify you with the client's information so that you may initiate contact with them.
Do I have to meet Guidelines to mediate in Kentucky?
No. The Guidelines set forth by the Supreme Court of Kentucky in the Rules of Administrative Procedure Part XII. Mediation Guidelines for Court of Justice Mediators are suggested minimum criteria for training, experience, education, and ethical conduct for mediators practicing in courts of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The Roster of Mediators is composed of mediators who voluntarily agree to adhere to the Guidelines. Judges and the public are encouraged to refer to this Roster when selecting a mediator.
To remain on the Roster, the Guidelines suggest at least four hours of continuing mediation education every two years from the date of approval to be on the Roster. How can I obtain this?
Any educational experience that pertains to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) may qualify as continuing mediation education (CME). Some ways to obtain continuing mediation education are:
- Attending, lecturing, or teaching at a live lecture or seminar on a topic related to the practice of mediation;
- Listening or viewing audio, video, or web based presentations on a topic related to mediation;
- Co-mediating or supervising trainees as part of the trainee's mentorship requirements;
- Participating as a trainer or coach in general or family mediation trainings;
- Authoring or editing written materials submitted for publication that has significant intellectual or practical content directly related to the practice of mediation.
When does the time period to obtain my four hours of continuing mediator education begin and end?
Your CME Reporting date begins immediately upon your approval for the Roster, and ends at the end of the first FULL fiscal year. For example, if you are approved on August 15, 2005, your first CME Report is due by June 30th of the next FULL fiscal year, or June 30, 2007. Thereafter, your next reporting date is two years hence, or June 30, 2009, and so forth.
Once I have obtained the suggested continuing education, how do I submit that information to receive credit and remain in good standing on the Mediator Roster?
To maintain good standing on the Roster, complete the Continuing Mediator Education (CME) Reporting Form (1054KB-PDF) and return it to the Office of Mediation, Administrative Office of the Courts, 1001 Vandalay Drive, Frankfort, KY 40601.
If I obtain more than four hours of continuing education during a two year time span, can I carry over the additional hours to be credited towards the next two-year increment?
NO. The continuing education requirement is intended to ensure ongoing professional growth and development. Therefore it is important that the CME be current. However, you may be able to use the credits to satisfy other professional continuing educational requirements.
What if I miss the deadline for submitting my CME credits?
We value you as a mediator on the Court of Justice Roster and want to give you every opportunity to comply. However, we must receive your completed CME Report within thirty days after the deadline or your name will be removed from the Roster.
If I am on the Roster as a General Civil Mediator and as a Family Mediator, do I have to obtain separate CME credits to maintain my status for both types of mediation?
NO. You are only required to obtain and submit four CME hours every two years to remain in good standing on the Roster as both a General and Family Mediator.
Will any of the Kentucky Bar Association's CLE's count as CME credits?
Seminars, or portions thereof pertaining to Alternative Dispute Resolution, also qualify as CME credits.