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Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings

Mediation FAQs


What is Mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary and confidential meeting that takes place prior to the formal fair hearing. The parties agree to work with a mediator to try to resolve the case without going to hearing. Because it is a voluntary process, all parties must agree to participate in mediation before mediation will be scheduled. If one side refuses to participate in mediation it will not be scheduled. To obtain a PDF copy of a Joint Request for mediation in Registrar of Contractors cases, click here.


Who will be at the Mediation?
A representative from each party who has authority to make binding decisions for the party.  Attorneys are welcome, but not required.


Who will be the Mediator?
The mediation will be conducted by an administrative law judge (ALJ) of the Office of Administrative Hearings trained and experienced in conducting mediations. To protect the confidentiality of the process and to encourage free discussion, the mediator will not serve as the ALJ who hears the cases should it proceed to hearing. Confidentiality procedures are in place to ensure that the mediator and the ALJ hearing the case do not share information.


How do I file documents with the Mediator?
Email documents in PDF to [email protected] . Include your docket number in the subject line.


Do I need an Attorney?
An attorney is not required but you may bring one should you choose to do so.


What if I need a Translator?
A translator will be provided for you. You must request a translator through the OAH at 602-542-9826. You should make your request as soon as you can as it takes time to arrange for interpreters.


How Are Mediations Scheduled?
The mediator will conduct a premediation conference to select a mutually agreeable time and date.


What Should I Do Before The Mediation?
Prepare. Prepare. Prepare. Jot down notes on your facts and on your issues. Be prepared to explain to the mediator and the other party the reasons you believe your position is correct. Be clear in your own mind about what you are seeking to accomplish in mediation.


What Should I Bring With Me?
All relevant information you have in connection with your case.
An open mind. You may learn things in mediation that might cause you to change your position. Be open to considering other options to resolve the dispute.
Someone with authority to settle the case. If you do not have authority to enter into a mediated agreement, make sure you have the ability to be in telephone contact at all times with someone who does.
Bring paper and a pen.
Bring water and a snack.


How Will The Mediation Proceed?
After introductions, the mediator will review grounds rules, discuss confidentiality, and ask the parties to sign a confidentiality agreement. Each side will be asked to summarize their position. The mediator may ask questions to clarify the issues.
The group may remain in joint session to discuss issues, or break into caucuses. In a caucus, the mediator meets with each side separately. The mediator will keep information learned in caucus confidential unless given permission to disclose it.
Be prepared to wait while the mediator is in caucus with the other side. The mediator may give you a task to complete while in caucus with the other party. Be patient – mediations, and in particular this part of the process, takes time.
If an agreement is reached, the mediator may assist in preparing a written document that incorporates the terms of the agreement or the parties may draft the agreement.


What Happens If We Run Out Of Time?
If the parties agree, a further mediation date will be set.

What Happens To The Hearing Date?
If the mediation leads to an agreement, the hearing date is not needed.
If the mediation does not lead to an agreement, the hearing date will be set. Discuss any concerns you have about the hearing date with the mediator.


Do we have to reach an Agreement?
No.  Mediation is voluntary and the mediator has no stake in the outcome.  Failure to reach a negotiated agreement simply results in the matter being placed back on the hearing calendar of the ALJ hearing the case.


For a list of Mediation Rules, click here.