Legislation & Ethics

Mediation is enforceableLegislation governing Dispute Resolution Centers

The Dispute Resolution Center of King County is a private, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization authorized by local state legislation, Revised Code of Washington RCW 7.75, which guides the activities of dispute resolution centers in Washington. This state legislation created a funding mechanism that enables each county to determine the amount of a  surcharge to attach to certain local court fees. King Count Ordinances 4.82.010 and 4.82.020 determine the amount of the surcharge that King County will attach to the local Small Claims Court and District Court civil filing fees which are then passed through to the DRC of King County. The DRC currently receives approximately 65% of its operating budget through this surcharge funding mechanism.

Ethical guidelines

The Dispute Resolution Center is guided by ethical standards that can be found in the Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators and the Washington State Uniform Mediation Act. All mediators are required to adhere to these standards and the Dispute Resolution Center regularly conducts training on these guidelines. The Uniform Mediation Act adopted in 2005, assures clients of confidentiality and privilege in the mediation proceedings and documents. One notable exception that is not considered confidential is the revelation of the intent or ongoing abuse or neglect of a vulnerable person or the intent or admission of a crime. These two exceptions are not confidential and will be reported to the appropriate authorities.