CHARLESTON – The Kanawha Circuit Court is preparing for a rush of mediation this week, as more than 40 cases will be discussed in hopes of being settled outside of court.
Settlement Week Alternative Resolution by Mediation, or SWARM as it is known, is Oct. 1-5 in the Kanawha court system. The bi-yearly event is taking place for the 23rd time.
SWARM is a way to help settle cases through mediation, which is an informal way of resolving a case that has not gone before a judge or jury.
This year, Kanawha Circuit Court Manager Jimmy Thaxton said there are about 40 cases that will be mediated, which is a slight decrease from the amount of cases in the past.
“Maybe numbers are down because more lawyers in the community are doing private mediation rather than doing it through SWARM,” Thaxton said.
However, Thaxton said he expects SWARM will still keep up the average of settling more than 50 percent of the cases heard.
During the last SWARM, in April, 76 percent of the cases were successfully mediated.
Thaxton said he has about 40 volunteers to help mediate the cases this week. More than 250 lawyers statewide are eligible to mediate at SWARM.