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Workers' Compensation Judges' Mediation Procedures

Francis J. Desimone

Office: Johnstown District: Western
  1. Please list the offices at which you will mediate a claim.

    Johnstown and my hearing locations in Kittanning and Bedford.
  2. Are you willing to mediate claims that are assigned to you for hearing and decision?

    Sometimes, yes.
  3. Are you willing to mediate claims in which one or both parties are not represented by counsel?

  4. Do you require the parties to execute an agreement to mediate? If so, please describe briefly the matters addressed by the agreement.

    I do require an agreement to mediate. I do not require an executed document.
  5. How much time do you typically allow for a mediation session?

    One to two hours.
  6. Do you require the parties to submit a pre-mediation memorandum?

    I do not require a mediation memorandum.
  7. Do you conduct a pre-mediation conference? If so, please describe what takes place at that conference.

    I do not conduct a pre-mediation conference.
  8. Do you require all participants (claimant, adjustor/employer representative, counsel) to attend the mediation personally? Under what circumstances do you permit a participant to attend by telephone?

    I require all counsel and the claimant to be present. The adjuster/employer representative must at least be available by telephone.
  9. Once you receive a mediation request, what is the usual amount of time elapsed until the mediation takes place?

    Two to four weeks.
  10. Describe generally how you conduct a mediation session.

    • Describe each step of the process.

      I review the entire record before the session. I ask each party to state its position when the session begins, and then determine whether I should meet separately with each party. There may be repeated joint and separate sessions.
    • Indicate whether you use a facilitative (i.e., helping the parties to communicate and generate their own solutions), evaluative (i.e., discussing the strengths and weaknesses of each party's case and/or offering an opinion as to the settlement value), or mixed approach.

      I use a mixed facilitative and evaluative approach, with the emphasis determined by the individual case.
  11. Are you willing to conduct more than one session per claim?

  12. Is there anything else the parties should know or do in advance of the mediation?

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