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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ: Mediation Advocacy Program

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  • 05. Is the Mediation Binding on the Parties?

    Although the parties are not bound to settle through the process of mediation–no mediator can force the parties to take a certain position or accept a proposed settlement–, the parties will be bound by any agreement they reach. These agreements must be memorialized in writing before leaving the session.

  • 05. When must the arbitration hearing take place?

    The arbitration hearing must take place no later than 120 days from the date the answer was filed, and counsel will have a 90 day period to complete discovery.

  • 06. What happens once the arbitration is completed?

    Upon completion of the hearing, the arbitrator files an arbitration award. This award is confidential and does not go in the court file.  Counsel will receive a copy of the award after it is received by the court.  If any party disagrees with the arbitrator’s decision, then that party may file a Demand for Trial De Novo. 

  • 06. Where are mediations usually held?

    Mediations can be held in any mutually agreed upon location (including virtually), although, to promote neutrality, meeting in one of the Eastern District courthouses or the mediator’s office is preferable to meeting in a party’s or party’s counsel’s office. The length of the mediation depends on the mediator, the parties, and the complexity of the case. Although the average time for a mediation session is between five and six hours, some last as long as fifteen hours, so it is advisable to schedule an entire day for the process.

  • 06. Who are the mediators?

    The mediators are experienced lawyers who have been certified as mediators by the Eastern District.

  • 07. How do I request a trial de novo?

    Within 30 days after the arbitration award is entered on the docket, any party may demand in writing a trial de novo in the District Court.  Such demand shall be filed with the arbitration clerk, and served by the moving party upon all counsel of record and other parties.    A filing fee of $250.00 is required to file a Demand for Trial De Novo.

  • 07. How much does mediation cost?

    Mediators obtained through the court annexed mediation program offer their services at a reduced rate of $600.00 for the first four hours, and $250.00 per hour for each hour thereafter.  Mediators do not charge for any time spent in preparation of the mediation session. 

  • 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. 

  • 08. What is the cost of arbitration?

    There is no charge for the arbitration.  However, if parties would like a transcript made of the arbitration hearing, the parties must make all necessary arrangements and bear the expenses associated with the transcript.

  • 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.

  • 1. Do I need to file my motion to appear pro hac vice for each attorney or can I file it once?

    A pro hac vice motion must be filed for each attorney who wishes to appear on the case. There is a $150.00 fee per pro hac vice application.

  • 10. Where do the mediations take place?

    Mediation sessions may take place at the courthouse, a neutral location, or remotely.

  • 11. What if I am not satisfied with my pro bono attorney or pro bono mediator?

    Please contact ADR Administrator, at 718.613.2578 or with any questions or concerns regarding pro bono attorneys and mediators. 


  • 2. What event to I use for a motion to appear pro hac vice?

    Motions and Related Filings>Motions>Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice