NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
APPELLATE MEDIATION PROGRAM AT SEVENTH DISTRICT COURT OF APPEALS
(Press Release, June 25, 2015)
The Seventh District Court of Appeals, located on Federal Street in downtown Youngstown, announces it will start an appellate mediation program. The program will cover a variety of civil appeals, including personal injury, contract disputes, real property cases, employment disputes, and others.
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process using trained mediators to assist the parties in resolving their cases. The Ohio Supreme Court has described mediation as a voluntary, confidential process in which the court's mediator leads the litigating parties through a process that seeks to resolve their case with a mutually acceptable solution. Normally in an appeal, a 3-judge panel decides the case based on a review of the trial court record and the legal arguments made by the parties. In appellate mediation, the parties control the outcome of the appeal with the help of a mediator, who is an active participant in the process. The mediator points out the strengths and weaknesses of each side's case and tries to guide the parties to settle the case in a way both sides can accept.
Mediation is different than arbitration, in which an arbitrator, or team of arbitrators, decides the case based on the presentation of evidence. In mediation, the case is resolved based on the wishes, of the parties through settlement.
Mediation has some advantages compared to a typical appeal: the parties have more control over the process and the outcome; mediation is confidential; less process is less adversarial; a shorter time in resolving the appeal, thus saving the parties additional expense; creative resolutions of disputes; parties can assess the strengths and weaknesses of both sides of the case; and the case is terminated by mutual agreement rather than by judicial orders.
The court mediator will recommend civil cases for mediation, or the parties themselves may request it. Approximately 58% of the Seventh District's current caseload is civil appeals. The Seventh District Court of Appeals has 4 judges who handle criminal and civil appeals from trial court decisions in 8 of Ohio's 88 counties: Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Harrison, Jefferson, Mahoning, Monroe and Noble.
The Ohio Supreme Court has long had its own mediation program and has encouraged the Courts of Appeal to develop their own separate programs. The Seventh District's program will be the ninth appellate court mediation program in the state. The court has recently upgraded its website and will begin offering mediation instructions and forms on the website for easy download.
The program will be run through promotion of two of the current staff attorneys on the court, Jeff Hendrickson and Aaron Hively. Attorney Hendrickson is being promoted to assistant court administrator and will oversee the initial implementation of the program. Attorney Hendrickson is a 1982 graduate of the College of Wooster, and a 2000 graduate of Akron Law School. He has been a full-time staff attorney for 15 years.
Attorney Hively will act as chief mediator and will be primarily responsible for the day-to-day operations of the program. He is a 1993 graduate of Youngstown State University and 1999 graduate of Akron Law School. He has been a full-time staff attorney at the court for 16 years.
COMPLAINT/PRE-TRIAL NOTICE E-MAIL SCAM
If you have received an email claiming to be a notice from the Court Secretary for the Seventh District Court of Appeals about a complaint or a pretrial hearing, it is a scam. This court did not send the message, nor was it sent from the court's email system. This court does not send notices via email.
Unfortunately, there is nothing this court can do to prevent or stop this email hoax. If you received the email, contact your system administrator to find out how to protect your computer.