The Circuit Court for Baltimore City has two alternative dispute
resolution programs for the civil non-domestic docket. They are the
pre-trial settlement conferences which are scheduled in most civil cases
30 days before trial and a Court Mediation Program.
Court Mediation Program.
Mediation is an informal and confidential process where a
neutral person, a mediator, assists people in a dispute by encouraging
communication, allowing the opportunity for both sides to be heard,
identifying each person's needs and, if possible, helping the
participants reach an agreement that satisfies everyone's needs.
Mediators do not give legal advice, render judgments or force any
participant to reach an agreement. Mediation provides people with the
opportunity to participate in the outcome of their dispute. More than
one-half of the Court's cases that are referred to mediation are
resolved during the mediation conference. Studies indicate that when a
case is referred to mediation, the parties and the courts save both time
and money. Often, cases resolved through mediation spend less time in
the court system and involve fewer discovery motions.
Pre-Trial Settlement Conference (" PTC ").
A Pre-trial Settlement Conference (or " Settlement
Conference ") is scheduled approximately thirty (30) days before trial.
The conferences are generally conducted in Mitchell Courthouse West,Room
511, before a retired judge or a volunteer settlement attorney.The
Court’s Scheduling Orders set the date and require all counsel,their
clients and insurance representatives to attend the conference in person.
A Settlement Conference provides the parties the opportunity to discuss
their issues and positions in the action before an impartial person in an
attempt to resolve the dispute or issues in the dispute by agreement or by
means other than trial. A Settlement Conference may include neutral case
evaluation and neutral fact-finding, and the impartial person may recommend
the terms of an agreement. (See Rule 17-102(l))
Request for Telephonic Appearance
A party or representative who would like to be excused from personal attendance
in favor of telephone participation must do the following:
All requests to excuse personal attendance must be made in writing, by motion
or letter filed with the clerk.
All requests should be filed not later than twenty-one (21) days before the
conference or provide good cause for later filing. It is helpful if a copy is
submitted to Jeff Trueman, Deputy Director, Civil ADR (Room 248, Courthouse East,
fax number 410-396-7378).
The decision whether to approve the request, typically will be made by the
ADR Supervisory Judge. If a pretrial conference is scheduled before an active
judge of the court, the decision whether to approve the request for telephone
participation instead of personal attendance will be made by the judge before
whom the pretrial conference is set.
If a request is approved, that approval applies only for the date on which
the pretrial conference is scheduled at the time of the request. If the pretrial
conference is rescheduled for any reason, a renewed request must be submitted for
consideration according to the procedures set forth above.
If a request is approved, counsel will be informed about procedures for
participation by telephone at the time of the approval. If a person is excused
from personal attendance, counsel will be informed about the Courtcall procedure
for that persons are required participation by telephone at the time of the
Best Practices for Pre-Trial Settlement Conferences
Pre-trial Conference statements: File a Pre-Trial Conference statement with the " Clerk’s "
Office no later than five (5) days before the conference. (See Rule 2-504.2) Please
provide convenience copies by fax (410-396-7378) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
to the ADR Program Office for use at the settlement conference, and bring an extra copy
to the conference.
Be prepared for settlement discussions: If there is anything preventing you from
discussing settlement at the scheduled conference (e.g. a pending dispositive motion,)
consider requesting a postponement in Postponement Court. If Postponement Court is not
an option for some reason, the settlement conference may be reconvened.
If your case settles before the Pre-Trial Conference (PTC):
File the stipulated dismissal (see Rule 2-506) with the Clerk’s Office and pay all
outstanding court costs.
If settlement occurs within ten (10) days of the PTC, file the stipulated dismissal
with the Clerk’s Office, pay all outstanding court costs, and fax a copy of the dismissal
to the Assignment Office (410-333-8654).
If settlement occurs within 24 hours of the PTC, file the stipulated dismissal with the
Clerk’s Office, pay all outstanding court costs, and fax copies of the dismissal to the
Assignment Office (410-333-8654) and the Civil ADR Office (410-396-7378).If you have trouble
faxing the dismissal to Assignment or to the Civil ADR Office, call Jeff Trueman, 410-396-7374.
If you have any questions about mediation, please
Ronna K. Jablow, Esq.
Circuit Court for Baltimore City
111 N. Calvert Street Room 248Baltimore, MD 21202
tel. (410) 396-7374fax. (410) 396-7378
Newsletter: ADR in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City - April 2014
Newsletter: ADR in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City - June 2013
Newsletter: ADR in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City - January 2013
Newsletter: ADR in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City -
Newsletter: ADR in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City -
Newsletter: ADR in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City - December 2011
Newsletter: ADR in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City - February 2015
- Civil Mediation Instructions
- Civil Mediation Instructions for Motor Tort
- Civil Mediation Instructions for Medical Malpractice
- ADR Data Sheet
- Confidential Mediation Conference Statement
- Notice of Selection of ADR Provider by Stipulation In Health Care Malpractice Claims
- Notice of Selection of Mediator by Stipulation
- Frequently Asked Questions