The Appellate Mediation Program is an initiative of the Supreme Court bench and is administered by the Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution. Mediation and other innovative methods of alternative dispute resolution are a way to encourage litigants to resolve disputes without the expense and time of trials. Mediation is different from arbitration in that the mediators do not render decisions. Participants craft a resolution with the aid and assistance of a mediator guiding the process, allowing for more creativity and flexibility than the normal appellate process.
Most civil cases that have been directly appealed from final judgment are eligible for mediation through the program. There are presently nine (9) retired judges and magistrates who serve as mediators at no cost to the state. Mediations are presently conducted at the Frank Licht Judicial Complex, Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal, and the Phillip Noel Judicial Complex.