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The Fifth District Court of Appeal began a pilot appellate mediation program in 2001 for final civil and family appeals.  The pilot was deemed a success by the court and adopted as a permanent program in July 2004. The program is achieving the goals of saving litigants time and money by resolving disputes more quickly and less expensively than the appeal process and helping to narrow and clarify issues for appeal so that cases can be expedited. To date, in excess of 30% of the cases sent to mediation have been resolved.

The Mediation Program at the Fifth District is different from other appellate mediation programs in this state and most other appellate mediation programs in other states. Selection of cases appropriate for mediation are made by one of three screening judges on the court. In all eligible cases (final civil and family appeals with attorney representation of all parties), the parties complete and file with the court a mediation questionnaire setting forth the issues involved in the appeal and their position on whether or not mediation would be helpful.  Click here for more information on the program.