Yes, most civil disputes in North Carolina must be mediated before they can be adjudicated in court. This mediation requirement applies to lawsuits filed in Superior Court, District Court, and the North Carolina Business Court. In injury cases, mediation is required after a lawsuit has been filed and the parties have had sufficient time to conducted discovery. Once a case is ordered to mediation by the court, the parties may select a mediator by agreement. If no agreement can be reached then the court will appoint a mediator.
In Workers’ Compensation cases, mediators are appointed by the Industrial Commission once the employer or employee files for a hearing on the merits of the matter. In just about all of our cases, including Workers’ Compensation, we are able to reach an agreement with the defendants regarding the mediator and the dates for the mediation.