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Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
 

WHAT IS THE COURT-SPONSORED ADR PROGRAM?

The Montgomery County Circuit Court offers litigants the opportunity to participate in mediation, which is a form of ADR in which a mediator assists parties in reaching a resolution before trial. Mediation can be ordered at any time during the pendency of any civil case, including family cases. If mediation is ordered by the court in either a civil or family case, the ADR coordinator will assign a mediator from the court-approved roster of ADR mediators.  Mediators assigned to a case by the ADR coordinator must charge the “court rate” for the mediation. Parties and counsel may also select their own mediator from the court-approved roster of ADR mediators.  If the parties select a mediator on their own, the mediator may charge the parties his or her private hourly rate for the mediation.

Mediation is ordered in most civil cases, including family cases. Mediation will not be ordered in domestic violence cases or cases in which the Court determines that ADR is inappropriate. Parties or counsel may opt out of mediation by informing the Court orally (in open court), or in writing.

WHO IS ON THE COURT ROSTER OF ADR MEDIATORS?

The Court maintains a roster of mediators who have submitted applications, fulfilled the requirements set forth in Title 17 of the Maryland Rules, and have been approved by the Administrative Judge. The list includes senior Judges, attorneys, mental health professionals, educators, and others. The list can be obtained by calling the ADR Director at 240-777-9108.

HOW MUCH DOES MEDIATION COST?

In accordance with Maryland Rule 17-208, if the Court designates the mediator, the parties pay the reduced hourly rate set by the Court. The Court rate for Track 21 and 3 cases is currently $200 per hour; the Court rate for Tracks 4 through 8 is $250 per hour. If the parties choose their own mediator (including a mediator from the Court’s roster) the Court rate does not apply, and the parties pay the mediator’s private rate. The cost of the mediation is shared by the parties on a pro rata basis, unless the parties agree otherwise.

WHERE DOES MEDIATION TAKE PLACE?

Mediation sessions are usually held at the mediator’s office but may be held at other locations, such as the Circuit Court Law Library, on the 3rd floor of the North Tower.

HOW LONG IS THE MEDIATION SESSION?

Mediation sessions are usually scheduled for a period of 3 hours but may be extended or shortened at the discretion of the parties, counsel, or the mediator.

HOW DO I REQUEST AN ORDER FOR ADR?

To request an ADR order, please contact the ADR Coordinator at 240-777-9108. Parties and counsel may also request an ADR order during a scheduling, motions, or pretrial hearing.

WHAT IF I DO NOT WANT THE MEDIATOR SELECTED BY THE COURT, BUT I STILL WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN MEDIATION?

If the Court has chosen a mediator who is not acceptable to the parties or counsel, the Court may order a substitution. The process for obtaining a substitution is set forth in Maryland Rule 17-202. The Circuit Court rules governing ADR may be accessed by selecting this link: Maryland Circuit Court Rules, Title 17.

WHAT WILL I RECEIVE FROM THE COURT WHEN I REQUEST AN ORDER FOR ADR?

When you request an Order for ADR from the Court, the Order you receive will include instructions regarding the mediation. You will also receive a document called the “Confidential ADR Statement,” which you should fill out and send to the mediator before mediation. This allows the mediator to prepare for the mediation.

HOW DO I PREPARE FOR MEDIATION?

Complete the Confidential ADR Statement and mail that document to the mediator in advance of the scheduled mediation. Be prepared to discuss the merits of your case with the mediator in detail and bring any documents with you that you might need to reference during the mediation. Be prepared to sign a document at the beginning of the mediation session which sets forth the procedures and parameters for the mediation. This document includes information about the confidentiality of communications that occur during mediation.

WHAT IF I WANT TO BE LISTED AS A COURT-APPROVED MEDIATOR?

If you want to be listed as a Court-approved mediator, you must fulfill the requirements set forth in Title 17 of the Maryland Rules. A Form-Fillable PDF application must be submitted by selecting this link: Montgomery County Circuit Court Mediator Application"(). After the Administrative Judge reviews your application, you will receive a letter informing you of the results.

How to Apply:


1All cases are assigned a track based on a number of factors related to the issues in the case.

Confidential ADR Statement Forms

ADR Outcome Form

Montgomery County Circuit Court Mediator Application

Agreement to Mediate

Maryland Circuit Court Rules, Title 17

Maryland Circuit Court Rules, Title 17

 

 
Montgomery County Circuit Court
50 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850
Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM