U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Bankruptcy Court Mediation Program

The United States Bankruptcy Court of the Northern District of Illinois created Local Rules 9060-1 to 9060-10 in 1997. These rules outline the process for a mediation program that can be used for any dispute before a bankruptcy judge. 

When the parties jointly file a Bankruptcy Mediation Motion or a Bankruptcy Mediation Agreement, the court refers to the mediation program. A court-approved list or one chosen by the parties can be used as a mediator. 

The motion names mediators from the court-approved list that each party would like to be removed from service. It then asks the court for a court-approved mediator to choose a mediator from those remaining. 

A mediation schedule does not delay discovery, pre-trial hearing dates or trial dates and does not exempt parties from other court orders, relevant laws or regulations.

After the assigned case, a mediator will schedule the case and request any written statements or documents. All parties must attend the mediation with full settlement power, their primary counsel and any additional people invited by the mediator. 

The mediator will decide the mediation session’s formatting a notice with the court, the mediator or any of the parties can resign or withdraw at any time during the mediation process. After the mediation, the mediator reports to the court about the case results.

Except for necessary reports, no papers produced or given to the mediator will be filed with the court. All participants are prohibited from disclosing or forcing others to disclose any oral or written material during mediation unless they are legally required to. 

The mediator is not to be held accountable for the mediation process unless the Mediation Rules are violated.

The court keeps a record of qualified mediators and makes them available to the public on request. To be added to the list, you will need to submit a Mediator’s Certificate application. Keep the information up-to-date and agree to do at least one pro-gratis mediation per year.

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