24.03 Appointment of the Mediator and Scheduling of Mediation Session
(a)Appointment of the Mediator
1. Within twenty-one (21) days after entry of the Order of Referral, the parties shall, if they are able to reach agreement on a mediator, file with the court a stipulation designating the mediator. A mediator selected by the parties need not be on the court-certified list of mediators.
2. If the parties cannot agree upon a mediator, the parties shall, at the court appearance on the twenty-first day following the date of entry of the Order of Referral, inform the court of their failure to reach agreement. The court shall then appoint or assist in the appointment of a court-certified mediator from the list of court-certified mediators. The court may also appoint a mediator from the Center for Conflict Resolution. When appointing a mediator from the Center for Conflict Resolution, the court will consider the following factors: financial hardship, the need of the parties to preserve a continuing relationship, the need for an expeditious resolution of the matter, whether there exist matters of community concern and any other circumstance that would cause the parties to be unduly burdened.
3. Neither participation in any training program nor inclusion in the court’s list of certified mediators guarantees the selection of any particular individual as a mediator for any case.
(b) Compensation of the Mediator
Where the parties are able to reach an agreement as to the identity of the mediator without court assistance, the parties and the mediator shall agree in writing as to the rate of compensation. Where the court appoints the mediator or assists with the appointment, the parties will first attempt to reach an agreement as to the rate of compensation. In the event that a person appointed by the court or appointed with the court’s assistance declines to accept an appointment at the rate of $250.00 an hour, the court will appoint or assist in the appointment of an alternate court-certified mediator from the list of court-certified mediators who is willing to accept that rate.
Unless otherwise agreed by the parties or ordered by the court, upon good cause shown, each party shall pay a proportionate share of the total charges of the mediator. Upon the failure of any party to pay its proportionate share of the expense of the mediation, the court may enforce the obligation to pay upon motion of any party or the mediator.
The Center for Conflict Resolution, a not-for-profit organization, will mediate referred cases without a charge to the parties as a service to the court. The Center for Conflict Resolution shall comply with the Illinois Not-For-Profit Dispute Resolution Center Act. 710 ILCS 20/1 et. seq.
(c) Scheduling of Initial Mediation Session
Unless otherwise ordered by the court, the first mediation session shall be held within five (5) weeks of the date of entry of the Order of Referral. When the date, time and place of the initial mediation session have been agreed upon, the mediator shall send written confirmation of the date, time and place to all parties as well as of any other requirements of the mediation.
At least ten (10) days before the initial session, each side shall present to the mediator a brief, written summary of the case containing a list of issues as to each party, unless the mediator has requested a different procedure to be followed. If the attorney or party presenting a submission wishes its contents to remain confidential he/she shall so advise the mediator in writing at the same time the submission is delivered to the mediator.
Mediation shall be completed within seven (7) weeks of the first mediation session unless extended by order of the court.