Summit County Common Pleas Court General Division Plan for Addressing COVID-19 – Update

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UPDATED EMERGENCY ORDER IN RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS MAY 28, 2020

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Plaintiffs and defendants who are interested in using alternative methods of dispute resolution to effectively resolve litigation may use Mediation and Arbitration Services. The Court provides these services to the parties as a public service.

Mediation

The Summit County Court of Common Pleas, General Division, operates a Mediation Program that provides the opportunity to mediate civil cases with a court mediator. Cases are referred to mediation by the assigned judge.

Mediation allows the parties and their lawyers the opportunity to sit down in a relaxed setting and discuss possible settlement of the lawsuit with a neutral mediator. Strengths and weaknesses of the case are discussed. Options are proposed for resolution and the mediator strives to assist both sides in reaching a settlement.

Settling a case in mediation can result in reduction of costs, elimination of risk at trial and closure for both sides.

In the year 2000, 249 cases were settled through the mediation process. An additional 167 cases were settled after referral to mediation and prior to further contact with the court. Approximately 64% of all cases referred to mediation are settled.

Click here to download a Mediation Case Summary Form.

Mediation Contact Information: 330.643.8004

Arbitration

Arbitration is a formal process in which a panel of attorneys hears evidence and renders an opinion regarding the value or merits of a case, which could be binding or non-binding. Arbitrations are conducted pursuant to Local Rule 10. The Arbitration Process is typically used for cases where the actual amount in controversy, exclusive of interest and costs, is $50,000 or less per claimant. The parties may agree to submit cases to Arbitration where the amount in controversy exceeds $50,000 per claimant.

A case may be referred to Arbitration at the request of the parties or by order of the Court. An Arbitration award is not binding upon the parties unless agreed upon prior to referral. After an Arbitration is held, the panel issues a Report and Award which becomes a Final Judgment in 30 days unless an appeal is filed. An appealed case is returned to the Court.

Arbitration Contact Information: 330.643.229