Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 8.01. Civil Remedies and Procedure
Chapter 20.2. Court-Referred Dispute Resolution Proceedings

§ 8.01-576.5. Referral of disputes to dispute resolution proceedings.

While protecting the right to trial by jury, a court, on its own motion or on motion of one of the parties, may refer any contested civil matter, or selected issues in a civil matter, to an orientation session in order to encourage the early resolution of disputes through the use of procedures that facilitate (i) open communication between the parties about the issues in the dispute, (ii) full exploration of the range of options to resolve the dispute, (iii) improvement in the relationship between the parties, and (iv) control by the parties over the outcome of the dispute. The neutral or intake specialist conducting the orientation session shall provide information regarding dispute resolution options available to the parties, screen for factors that would make the case inappropriate for a dispute resolution proceeding, and assist the parties in determining whether their case is suitable for a dispute resolution process such as mediation. The court shall set a date for the parties to return to court in accordance with its regular docket and procedure, irrespective of the referral to an orientation session. The parties shall notify the court, in writing, if the dispute is resolved prior to the return date.

Upon such referral, the parties shall attend one orientation session unless excused pursuant to § 8.01-576.6. Further participation in a dispute resolution proceeding shall be by consent of all parties. Attorneys for any party may participate in a dispute resolution proceeding.

1993, c. 905; 2002, c. 718.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.