Virginia's Judicial System


March 2001:Mediation Info System Reports


First Reports Run From New Mediation Information System

With the expert assistance of the Office of the Executive Secretary's Management Information System Department, a unique opportunity has been created for the certified mediators of Virginia to assist in capturing informative data regarding court-annexed mediation. The new Mediation Information System is an on-line reporting system that allows mediators to enter data following court-referred mediations. For approximately ten years, there has been no automated tracking system to monitor the volume or type of mediation taking place in the courts. The information from Client Evaluations submitted by mediators as well as invoices submitted by OES contractors gave some indication of the level of mediation activity taking place in Virginia, but neither instrument has ever captured the complete picture of court-connected mediation.

Now, mediators in Virginia have the ability to be a part of data collection history. The new MIS system is the first of its kind in that it allows mediators to enter data directly and from the convenience of their own homes. The features that make this system so flexible also make the reliability of the reports dependent upon mediator accuracy and thoroughness. The Reports run from the MIS system include:

  • The number of mediations by court location and court level for any period of time
  • The following date differences by court location and court level:
    • The difference between the date the case is filed and the date it is referred to mediation
    • The difference between the date the case is referred to mediation and the date it is concluded in mediation
    • The difference between the date the case is referred to mediation and the date of the first mediation session
    • The difference between the date of the first mediation session and the date the case is concluded in mediation
    • The difference between the date the case is filed and the date the case is concluded
    • The difference between the date the case is concluded and the date set for the court hearing
    • The difference between the date the case is referred to mediation and the date set for the court hearing
  • The percentage of referrals by different methods
  • The number of appropriate cases by each category of case
  • The number of inappropriate cases by each category of case and method of referral
  • The number of mediations with an attorney present by court location, court level, and case type
  • The mediation result, amount of time in case management, the case type, and fees by court level and court location

There are a number of combinations that these reports may take. The value of this information is priceless in identifying areas with unusual delays, areas with low volume referrals, case types that are under-referred, methods of referral that are more effective, cases that are more likely inappropriate for mediation, and a variety of other such insights. The key to useful information, again, is accurate and complete reporting.

A few mediators have begun to enter information in the MIS system. Some things to watch include:

  • Identify the appropriate court. A few Senate Bill 127 cases have been entered as General District Court cases.
  • Provide accurate dates for the hearing date, filing date, mediation date, etc. Where mediators have left dates blank or enter the same date in each field, the reports indicate zeros or negative numbers, thus making that record useless.

We hope to share a summary of the first reports with the mediation community at the May 24th ADR Visioning Conference and with judges at their upcoming Spring Judicial Conferences. Please feel free to contact the Department of Dispute Resolution Services if you have any questions about using the new MIS system.


Resolutions is published quarterly by the Department of Dispute Resolution Services Office of the Executive Secretary Supreme Court of Virginia.

To request copies of the newsletter or to be placed on the mailing list, you may contact: Department of Dispute Resolution Services 100 North Ninth Street, Third Floor Richmond, Virginia 23219

Telephone: (804) 786-6455
Website: www.courts.state.va.us

Editors: Geetha Ravindra
Melanie Rinehults

Contributions of articles or information are always welcome.

This page last modified: March 15, 2001