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Workers' Compensation Judges' Mediation Procedures

Robert J. Goduto

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Office: Pottsville 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.
    Yes. See Agreement to Mediate.

  5. How much time do you typically allow for a mediation session?
    One (1) hour

  6. Do you require the parties to submit a pre-mediation memorandum? If so:
    • What information must be contained in the memorandum?
      I request a brief written summary of the issues in the case. A Mediation Memorandum form should be used to provide this information. A copy of this form may also be obtained from my office.

    • What documents, if any, must accompany the memorandum?

    • How far in advance of the mediation must the parties submit the memorandum and accompanying documents?
      One (1) week

  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?
    Counsel for both parties must appear in person for any scheduled mediation. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, the Judge expects the claimant to also appear in person. An employer/insurer representative may participate by phone. However, this individual must have the ultimate authority, i.e., be the decision maker, for purposes of settlement of the case.

  9. Once you receive a mediation request, what is the usual amount of time elapsed until the mediation takes place?
    In the case of a voluntary mediation, thirty (30) to forty-five (45) days. Mandatory mediations are scheduled in due course as part of the litigation process in the Pottsville office.

  10. Describe generally how you conduct a mediation session.
    • Describe each step of the process.
      The procedure/process of the mediation is first discussed with the parties, outlining the status of negotiations. I will then meet separately with the parties to discuss strengths and weaknesses of their positions and attempt to determine what the parties are seeking. I will then go back and forth between the parties in an attempt to bring them to a reasonable resolution of the case.

    • 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.
      I use a mixed approach.

  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? No