Any case filed pursuant to New Jersey’s Employment Law will be sent to the NJ Court Ordered Mediation Program. This typically happens shortly after the Defendant files its Answer to Plaintiff’s Complaint. The NJ Court Ordered Mediation program allows the parties to try and resolve the matter before the costs of litigation become too high. That is why the Court requires that the mediation occur early in the litigation process. The Court will randomly assign a mediator from the court approved mediator list. The parties can elect to select their own mediator or another mediator from the court approved list. The mediator is required by the court rules to provide one free hour of preparation time and one free hour of mediation time. If the parties sty at the mediation beyond the first hour, the mediator will start billing the parties an hourly rate.
Whether the NJ Court Ordered Mediation will be successful depends on numerous factors: (1) are the parties willing to stay past the first hour; (2) are any of the parties unreasonable in their settlement position; (3) does the mediator have a good understanding of the case and NJ employment law; and (4) do any of the parties require certain discovery before they are willing to try and resolve the case. The NJ Court Ordered Mediation system has excellent mediators and those that are not as good. A number of the mediators are not attorneys; however, we have had success with some of these mediators and a lawyer or retired judge is not necessary for every case.
If you have any questions regarding NJ Court Ordered Mediation, please contact our NJ Employment Lawyers.