PA Update – New Mediation Rule in Allegheny County
This new local rule will be enforced next year. Possibly as early as the May 2023 trial term.
Local Rule 212.7 Mandatory Mediation.
(1) All parties shall participate in a formal mediation process no later than 45 days prior to commencement of the assigned trial term, as published in the Pittsburgh Legal Journal pursuant to Local Rule 212.1(3). This requirement shall apply unless: (a) The Calendar Control Judge excuses the case from mediation upon motion and good cause shown; or Note: At the discretion of the Calendar Control Judge, “good cause” may include, but is not limited to, the expense of mediation relative to a party’s perceived valuation of the case, as well as a party’s inability to afford the expense of mediation. Local Rule 214 Issue Docket, Trial Lists and Trials 24 (b) All parties agree to waive mediation and file a Certification pursuant to Section (3)(a)(iii) of this rule. Note: The mediation requirement set forth herein may be satisfied at any time prior to 45 days before commencement of the assigned trial term. This is intended to provide the parties with maximum flexibility in determining when mediation would be most effective.
(2) Except by agreement of all parties, all parties with a financial interest and all non-parties with a financial interest (such as insurers) shall attend mediation with full authority to settle the case. Parties without a financial interest need not attend.
(3) Certification. (a) Within 7 days of completing mediation or agreeing to waive mediation pursuant to Section (1)(b) of this rule, the plaintiff shall file a Certification indicating that: (i) The case was mediated and all claims have been or soon will be resolved; (ii) The case was mediated, but all or some claims remain pending for trial; or (iii) The parties have agreed in writing to waive mediation. (b) Upon filing of the Certification required by this rule, the plaintiff shall serve a copy of the Certification upon the Calendar Control section of the Civil Division via electronic mail to CivilCalendarControl@alleghenycourts.us. Should the plaintiff fail to timely serve a Certification, any other party may do so. (c) If the Calendar Control Judge excuses a case from mediation under Section (1)(a) of this rule, the moving party shall within 7 days serve a copy of the Order of Court upon the Calendar Control section of the Civil Division via electronic mail to CivilCalendarControl@alleghenycourts.us.
(4) The Calendar Control Judge may, upon motion, impose such sanctions as are deemed appropriate against counsel and/or the parties for failure to comply with this rule in good faith.
(5) This rule does not apply to arbitration appeals, asbestos cases, or landlord-tenant cases.