- Mediate your case before your court date: If you choose this option the date of your hearing is important to know. The DRC needs three weeks to schedule most standard mediations. If you come to a mediated agreement before your court date, your case will then be dismissed without prejudice. The DRC will then submit the required paperwork for you to notify the court of your agreement.
- Mediate in court, the day of your hearing: The DRC has mediators available each day at small claims court who can conduct a shortened version of mediation for your case if both parties are present and willing to try it. The parties will meet in an available room outside of the court room to try and resolve the case. If you’re not able to come to an agreement the Judge will hear your case the same day.
- Delay your court date in order to set up a standard mediation: If you think a standard mediation at the DRC office would be beneficial, we can show you how to request a delay, or continuance, of your court date. The courts will often agree to delay your hearing date by 30 or 60 days if both parties agree and want to mediate the case. For more info about small claims court visit the District Court web site.
Working with attorneys
If you choose the facilitative style of mediation it may still be beneficial to consult an attorney about your legal rights. The DRC does not give legal advice or advocate for either client but is happy to refer you to a list of mediation-friendly attorneys who can advise you before, during or after the mediation. You can also find a low-cost attorney by contacting the King County Bar Association. In some cases, attorneys can be present during the mediation as a resource for their clients, however, it is usually more productive in this style of mediation for the clients to speak on their own behalf and make their own decisions.