Tennessee Alternative Dispute Resolution

Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31

Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 – Rule 31 was enacted in 1996 to develop a system by which litigants, attorneys and the courts can locate qualified neutral mediators to help resolve matters pending before the court. However, the parties may elect not to utilize Rule 31 and obtain mediation without the assistance of the court.

The proceedings authorized by Rule 31 include, among others, mediation and judicial settlement conference. Tenn. R. Sup.Ct. 31 § 2. Mediation is “an informal process in which a neutral person, called a mediator, conducts discussions among the disputing parties designed to enable them to reach a mutually acceptable agreement among themselves on all or any part of the issues in dispute.” Tenn. R. Sup.Ct. 31 § 2(f). Thomas v. Thomas, WL 1787950 *3 (Tenn.Ct.App.,2002). If the parties are unable in mediation to reach an agreeable solution, they retain their rights to have the courts resolve their dispute through litigation. Id.

Rule 31 sets out in detail all of the ethical and procedural duties for mediators and arbitrators (“Neutrals”). For Rule 31 in its entirety click here.

Mediation in Tennessee

Mediation is an informal process in which a mediator helps parties in dispute reach an agreement through a process that identifies major issues, clarifies misunderstandings, and attempts to negotiate settlement. The mediator remains impartial and works with both parties neutrally. The mediator is not a judge and does not impose a solution on the dispute.

Mediation: Another Method for Resolving Disputes in the Tennessee Judicial System
Tennessee Supreme Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission

Mediation Statute Index
Bank Customer Dispute Resolution Act. TN ST § 45-1-301 et seq.
Children and minors,
Permanent parenting plans,
TN ST § 36-6-404 TN ST § 36-6-409
Colleges and universities, educational criteria, standards,
TN ST § 49-7-2011
Confidential or privileged information, divorce,
TN ST § 36-4-130
Definitions, schoolteacher collective bargaining,
TN ST § 49-5-602
Delinquent children, compacts, TN ST § 37-4-101
Divorce, confidential or privileged information,
TN ST § 36-4-130
Domestic abuse, divorce, separate maintenance,
TN ST § 36-4-131
Financial institutions department, customer disputes, commis…
TN ST § 45-1-302
Health facilities, certificates of need, contested case hear…
TN ST § 68-11-1610
Marriage, divorce, confidential or privileged information,
TN ST § 36-4-130
Records and recordation, open records counsel office,
TN ST § 8-4-601
Schools and school districts, special education,
TN ST § 49-10-605
Schoolteachers, labor disputes, TN ST § 49-5-613
Trusts and trustees, TN ST § 35-15-816
Victim offender mediation center, TN ST § 16-20-101 et seq.
Workers compensation, benefit review con…
TN ST § 50-6-239 TN ST § 50-6-237
Specialists duties, TN ST § 50-6-236
Zoning and planning, comprehensive growth plans, municipalit…
TN ST § 6-58-104