Virginia's Judicial System

West Virginia Workers' Compensation Mediation Program Praised by State Justice Institute

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals' Workers Compensation Mediation program, which began as a pilot program in 1998 under the leadership of then-Chief Justice Robin Davis, recently received high marks in an independent review funded by a technical assistance grant from the State Justice Institute (SJI-99-T-037).

As part of the review, the court hired Roger Hanson, Ph.D. as an outside consultant to survey lawyers who participated in the program and publish his findings in a report. The results, gathered over the first nine months of the program, found that participating lawyers were very satisfied with the program. Their satisfaction was a direct result of the program's effort to involve key leaders from West Virginia's Workers Compensation and Alternative Dispute Resolution legal communities.

The report also praised the program's statistical success. Since its inception under Justice Davis' leadership, approximately half of the cases referred to mediation have settled. Before the program, settlements in Workers' Compensation cases were virtually nonexistent.

The Report of the Workers' Compensation Mediation Program of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia is available on the Supreme Court of Appeals website at To request a hard copy of the Report, call 304-558-4282.


Jan. 14-15    Adult Guardianship Mediation Seminar
                     Ann Arbor, MI; Contact Susan Hartman
                     of PeaceTalks at 734-623-8255

April 22-23   Virginia Mediation Network Spring
                     Training Conference; Holiday Inn Select;
                     Fredericksburg, VA; Contact VMN at
                     804-285-3373; web:

Apr. 26-28   Third Annual ABA Section of Dispute
                     Resolution ADR Conference
                     Arlington, VA; Contact 312-988-5000

May 10         Central Virginia Mediation Network
                     Legislative Update Meeting
                     Contact 804-257-9238

June 7-10     National Conference on Peacemaking
                     and Conflict Resolution
                     Fairfax, VA; Contact 215-245-6993

Oct 10-13     AFM, CRENet, and SPIDR in cooperation with The National Association For Community
                     Mediation present "Coming Together: Community, Connection, and Conflict", a joint
                     international conference.
                     Toronto, Ontario

Watch for news regarding a 2001 Department of Dispute Resolution Services Tenth Anniversary Celebration

March as Mediation Month

March has traditionally been observed in Virginia as a month to recognize mediation. We would like to hear from YOU! Please send us articles relating your plans to celebrate March as Mediation Month. We will need your information by no later than February 1, 2001 so we can include you in a news article in our March issue of Resolutions. Please take advantage of this special opportunity to creatively spread the word in your community about the effectiveness of mediation as a method of dispute resolution.

Readers' Response

Question:  For custody, visitation, and support cases referred to mediation under Senate Bill 127, does the dispute resolution evaluation session have to take place within fourteen days of the date of the Order, or is the fourteen days a deadline by which the mediator must schedule the dispute resolution evaluation session?

Answer:  The mediator must make contact with the parties to the mediation within fourteen calendar days of the Order of Referral in order to schedule the dispute resolution evaluation session. The session should take place as promptly as possible but does not have to happen within fourteen days.

New Question:  Should mediators be immune from civil liability for, or resulting from, any act of omission done or made while engaged in efforts to assist or facilitate a mediation?

You are invited to respond.  Please send your response to: Readers' Response, c/o Resolutions, Office of the Executive Secretary, Department of Dispute Resolution Services, 100 North Ninth Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219.

This page last modified: July 23, 2002