Supreme Court Seal
Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
Judicial Branch

Rule 6
Duties of the Parties, Representatives and Attorneys Mediation

(a)  Duty to Inform. In cases subject to ADR under these rules, all attorneys should fairly and objectively inform their clients about mediation and arbitration.

(b)  Attendance. The following persons shall physically attend a mediation settlement conference unless otherwise agreed to by the mediator and all parties or as ordered or approved by the Chief Judge for Administrative Purposes of the circuit:

(1)  The mediator;

(2)  All individual parties; or an officer, director or employee having full authority to settle the claim for a corporate party; or in the case of a governmental agency, a representative of that agency with full authority to negotiate on behalf of the agency and recommend a settlement to the appropriate decision-making body of the agency;

(3)  The party's counsel of record, if any; and

(4)  For any insured party against whom a claim is made, a representative of the insurance carrier who is not the carrier's outside counsel and who has full authority to settle the claim.

(c)  Identification of Matters in Dispute. The mediator may require, prior to the scheduled mediation conference, that each party provide a brief memorandum setting forth their position with regard to the issues that need to be resolved. The memorandum should be no more than five (5) pages in length unless permitted by the mediator. With the consent of all parties, such memoranda may be mutually exchanged by the parties.

(d)  Cooperation. The parties and their representatives shall cooperate with the mediator.

(e)  Confidentiality. Communications during the mediation settlement conference shall be confidential in accordance with Rule 8.

(f)  Agreement in Circuit Court. Upon reaching an agreement, the parties shall, before the adjournment of the mediation, reduce the agreement to writing and sign along with their attorneys. If the parties envision a more formal agreement, the mediator shall assign one of the parties' attorneys to prepare the agreement. A consent judgment or voluntary dismissal shall be filed with the court by such persons as may be designated by the mediator.

(g)  Agreement in Family Court. Parties must participate in at least three (3) hours of mediation unless an agreement is reached sooner. Upon the parties reaching an agreement, the mediator shall provide a Memorandum of Agreement to the parties, attorneys of record, and guardians ad litem of record. It is the obligation of the parties to seek approval of the agreement by the family court.