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01. What is mediation?
Mediation is a confidential process where a neutral third party, called a mediator, assists you and the other party to try to reach a voluntary, negotiated resolution of your lawsuit.
02. Is my case eligible for mediation through this program?
You must be a self-represented plaintiff in an employment discrimination matter or a matter arising under Section 1983.
The following types of cases are eligible for pro bono representation in mediation:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as codified, 42 U.S.C. §§2000e to 2000e-17 (discrimination based on race, color, gender, religion and national origin)
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as codified, 29 U.S.C. §§ 621-34 (discrimination based on age)
- Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as codified, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1242-17 (discrimination based on disability or perceived disability)
- First Amendment (violations of free speech, freedom of association and religion, access to the courts)
- Fourth Amendment (false arrest, excessive force, unreasonable searches and seizures)
- Eighth Amendment (prisoner excessive force, conditions of confinement)
- Fourteenth Amendment (lack of due process or equal protection)
03. Why should I try mediation?Mediators assist in improving communication across party lines, identify areas of agreement, and help parties to generate a mutually acceptable resolution to the dispute. Mediation provides an opportunity to explore a wide range of potential solutions and to address interests that may be outside the scope of the lawsuit or which could not be addressed by a judge.Mediation can save time, and may allow the parties to avoid lengthy discovery, motions, and trial in order to reach a resolution. Mediation can also provide you with the opportunity to meet with an attorney. The attorney can discuss the issues in the case and help you explore settlement.
04. If I mediate my case, will I be giving up any rights?
No. In the Eastern District, both parties must agree to mediation and the Judge must refer a pro se case to be mediated through the EDNY Alternative Dispute Resolution Program. You are under no obligation to settle your case through mediation, and if your case does not settle, you will continue your case before a judge.
05. How much does mediation cost?
Mediation is free of charge for cases referred to the Mediation Advocacy Program.
06. Who are the mediators?
The mediators are experienced lawyers who have been certified as mediators by the Eastern District.
07. I’ve decided to mediate my case. What do I do?
At any time after the defendant has been served with the summons and complaint, you may express your interest in mediation to the Judge. If the Judge determines that the case is appropriate for mediation, the judge will issue an order referring your case to the Mediation Advocacy Program.
08. How do I get matched with an attorney for the purpose of mediation?
Once the judge has ordered your case to the Mediation Advocacy Program, a member of the EDNY ADR Program staff will attempt to find a volunteer attorney for you (the pro se plaintiff). There is no guarantee that you will be matched with a pro bono attorney, however if an attorney is secured to represent you in a mediation, the attorney will contact you directly to set up a time to talk about your case. Pro bono attorneys participating in the Mediation Advocacy Program are not obligated to continue representing you in your case once the mediation has ended.
09. If I agree to mediation, will I definitely have a pro bono attorney appointed?
No. There is no guarantee that you will be matched with an attorney through this program.
10. Where do the mediations take place?
Generally, the mediation sessions take place at the courthouse, however, sometimes mediators may offer a neutral location where the parties can meet.
11. What if I am not satisfied with my pro bono attorney or pro bono mediator?
Please contact Robyn Weinstein, ADR Administrator, at 718.613.2578 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns regarding pro bono attorneys and mediators.