Jefferson County Mediation Services (JCMS) provides mediators at the courthouse for Small Claims Court and County Court Division H sessions. The mediators offer the disputants facilitated settlement conferences.
If mediation does not settle the dispute, the parties proceed to have their case heard by the judge. Since these parties have already reached court, they are often hardened into their positions. Mediators use more directed reality checking than in typical mediations, which is one reason why Jefferson County Mediation Services calls these meetings facilitated settlement conferences.
If the meeting is not successful, the judge is going to hear the case. The mediators need to make a relatively quick decision as to whether an agreement is possible, and press towards a settlement.