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Workers' Compensation Judges' Mediation Procedures

Joseph B. Sebastianelli

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Office: Wilkes-Barre District: Central

  1. Please list the offices at which you will mediate a claim.

  2. Are you willing to mediate claims that are assigned to you for hearing and decision?

  3. Are you willing to mediate claims in which one or both parties are not represented by counsel?

  4. Do you require the parties to execute an agreement to mediate? If so, please describe briefly the matters addressed by the agreement.

  5. How much time do you typically allow for a mediation session?
    Two (2) hours.

  6. Do you require the parties to submit a pre-mediation memorandum? If so:

  7. Do you conduct a pre-mediation conference? If so, please describe what takes place at that conference.

  8. Do you require all participants (claimant, adjustor/employer representative, counsel) to attend the mediation personally? Under what circumstances do you permit a participant to attend by telephone?
    Claimant, claimant’s attorney, and employer attorney must be present at the mediation. The adjuster can participate by phone and must have authority.

  9. Once you receive a mediation request, what is the usual amount of time elapsed until the mediation takes place?
    Thirty days.

  10. Describe generally how you conduct a mediation session.

    • Describe each step of the process.
      First, a discussion with both parties present takes place to determine what settlement figures have been exchanged between the parties.

      Second, I meet with each party to discuss the case and figures.

      Third, I meet with both parties present to discuss figures. If no agreement is reached, then I repeat the second step.

    • Indicate whether you use a facilitative (i.e., helping the parties to communicate and generate their own solutions), evaluative (i.e., discussing the strengths and weaknesses of each party's case and/or offering an opinion as to the settlement value), or mixed approach.
      A mixed approach is used with emphasis on discussing the strengths and weaknesses of each party's case.

  11. Are you willing to conduct more than one session per claim?

  12. Is there anything else the parties should know or do in advance of the mediation?
    Settlement figures must be exchanged by the parties prior to the mediation.