(a)Appellate Mediation Office; purpose of mediationconference. The court may order the attorneys for the parties and theparties to appear before a mediator appointed by the court for a mediationconference to explore the possibility of settlement and any other matters thatmay aid in the efficient management and disposition of the case. The court willadvise the parties by order that the case has been referred to the AppellateMediation Office. All decisions regarding conduct of the mediation conferenceare within the sole discretion of the mediator.
(b)Confidentiality. Unless contained ina written settlement agreement under paragraph (f), statements and commentsmade during mediation conferences and in related discussions, and any record ofthose statements, are confidential and may not be disclosed by anyone(including the appellate mediation office, counsel, or the parties; and theiragents or employees) to anyone not participating in the mediation process. Proceedingsunder this rule may not be recorded by counsel or the parties. Mediators may notbe called as witnesses, and the information and records of the AppellateMediation Office may not be disclosed to judges, staff, or employees of anycourt.
(c)Continuances. Mediation conferenceswill not be rescheduled or continued absent good cause as determined by themediator.
(d)Extensions/tolling. The time forfiling briefs or motions for summary disposition and for other appellateproceedings is not automatically tolled pending a mediation conference. Theparties may seek an extension by motion or stipulation as provided in Rule 22.
(e)Request for mediation conference by a party.
(1) For cases pending in theSupreme Court, the parties may request a mediation conference by stipulatedmotion filed with the Court. The Court will determine whether the case will bereferred to mediation. If a mediation conference is ordered, the mediation willbe conducted in accordance with this rule.
(2) For cases pending in the Courtof Appeals, the parties may request a mediation conference by motion, letter,or confidential request. The Chief Appellate Mediator will determine whether amediation conference will be conducted. The decision of the Chief AppellateMediator is final and not subject to review. If a mediation conference isordered, the mediation will be conducted in accordance with this rule.
(3) The denial of a mediationrequest will not prevent the parties from engaging in private settlementnegotiations or private mediation.
(f)Settlement/termination. In appealssettled in whole or in part pursuant to this rule, the court will enter anappropriate order upon written stipulation of all parties, or in the case ofvoluntary dismissal by the appellant pursuant to these rules, and send theorder to the parties. In appeals not settled and terminated from mediation, thecourt will enter an appropriate order and send the order to the parties. Amotion to enforce a settlement agreement will be considered only if the allegedagreement is in writing. The motion and related documents will be filed underseal.
(g)Sanctions. The court may imposesanctions, including costs, fees or dismissal, for the failure of counsel or aparty to comply with the provisions of this rule or with orders enteredpursuant to this rule.
Effective November 1, 2020