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Mediation Section

NC Industrial Commission Mediation Section

Our Mission

The Mediation Section is responsible for effectively, fairly and efficiently administering the Commission’s mediation program, with the goal of empowering the parties in pending cases to take an active role in the resolution of their disputes, to minimize the need for hearings and appeals, to expedite the dispute resolution process, and to enable the Commission to devote its adjudicatory resources to those cases not conducive to settlement. Chief Deputy Commissioner Kevin V. Howell is the Dispute Resolution Coordinator for the Mediation Section.

What We Do

When a claim is contested the parties are generally referred to mediation as a way of resolving the claim without a formal hearing. When an injured worker is not represented by an attorney, the case usually bypasses mediation. The Mediation Section oversees this process by educating the stakeholders concerning mediation theories and procedures, ruling on any motions related to mediation, and by insuring that the parties and mediators adhere to certain timelines, move the case forward, and submit the required forms and reports. While the mediators who serve in these cases are generally not state employees, the mediators on the Industrial Commission’s appointed list must complete a formal mediation training program and be certified by the Dispute Resolution Commission.


Expedited Hearing Requests in Cases Not Involving an Expedited Medical Motion or an Appeal of a Form 23 or Form 24 Decision

The Industrial Commission has received several recent inquiries about the procedure for requesting an expedited hearing in a case that does not involve an expedited medical motion under G.S. §97-25(f)(2) and does not involve an appeal of a Form 23 or Form 24 decision by the Executive Secretary’s Office. In such a case, the proper procedure is for the party filing the Form 33 Request for Hearing to additionally file via EDFP a Motion to Dispense with Mediation with the Dispute Resolution Coordinator. As with all motions in workers’ compensation claims, the Industrial Commission’s Motions Practice rule (11 NCAC 23A .0609) applies. A link to the Motions Practice rule can be found here.

Mediation Attendance Update for Industrial Commission Mediations, Effective May 1, 2023

The Supreme Court of North Carolina has approved amendments to the Rules for Mediated Settlement Conferences and Other Settlement Procedures in Superior Court Civil Actions, which go into effect May 1, 2023 and which can be found here. Among the amended Superior Court mediation rules is Rule 4, which governs attendance at Superior Court mediations.

Attendance at Industrial Commission mediations is governed by Rule 104 of the Industrial Commission’s mediation rules (11 NCAC 23G .0104), which can be found here. Paragraph (b) of Rule 104 provides that the attendance method for Industrial Commission mediations shall be the same as the attendance method set forth in Rule 4 of the Rules for Mediated Settlement Conferences and Other Settlement Procedures in Superior Court Civil Actions. Therefore, the Rule 4 amendments affect the way the attendance method will be determined in Industrial Commission mediations beginning May 1, 2023.

Under the Rule 4 amendments, if all parties and the mediator agree on the mediation attendance method (which can be remote, in-person, or a hybrid of the two where some parties are participating remotely while others are together in-person), then the mediation will be held using the agreed-upon attendance method. If an agreement on the attendance method cannot be reached, then attendance will be in-person unless the mediator has designated in the Dispute Resolution Commission’s Mediator Information Directory that he or she will only conduct remote mediations. However, in all cases, a party who is required to attend the mediation may file a motion with the Industrial Commission Dispute Resolution Coordinator asking that a different method of attendance be ordered. (For example, a party who wishes to participate remotely but who does not object to others participating in-person may file a motion requesting an order allowing a hybrid of remote and in-person attendance at the mediation).

A link to the Dispute Resolution Commission’s Mediator Search page and Mediator Information Directory can be found here. To determine the attendance method designation, if any, made by a mediator, click on “Find a Mediator,” then click on “Mediated Settlement Conference Mediators (Superior Court)", then type in the name of the mediator and click on “Search.” You will then see the mediator’s profile. Look under “Key Words” to see the attendance method designation, if any, made by the mediator.

To help the parties in Industrial Commission cases better visualize the effect of the Rule 4 changes on Industrial Commission mediations, the Commission has created a flowchart, which can be found here.

New Procedure: Report of Mediator Fee Invoices to be Emailed when Mediator Appointed

On Monday, February 20, 2023, the Industrial Commission will begin emailing Report of Mediator fee invoices at the time the mediator is appointed. The Report of Mediator invoice will be sent to defense counsel by email shortly after the Appointment of Mediator Order is emailed.

This new procedure, which was created in response to stakeholder feedback, will give employers and carriers additional time to process and pay Report of Mediator fees. Upon receipt of the Report of Mediator invoice, the $200 fee can be paid online via credit card (MasterCard or Visa) or e-Check. A link for online payment will be provided in the email. The $200 fee also may be paid by paper check mailed to the Industrial Commission.

While the Industrial Commission strongly encourages early payment of Report of Mediator fees to avoid past due invoices, this new procedure does not change the Report of Mediator fee due date (i.e., payment of the $200 Report of Mediator fee is due no later than seven (7) days from the deadline for completing mediation or seven (7) days from the date mediation is completed, whichever is earlier). With the ability to pay Report of Mediator fees early, however, employers and carriers can avoid the risk of late payment (which may subject them to statutory penalties and interest) and can more efficiently manage and bring closure to their case files.

The Industrial Commission hopes that employers and carriers will take advantage of the extra time to process and pay Report of Mediator fees afforded by this new procedure. Ensuring timely payment of Report of Mediator fees is an important element of the mediation process and is essential to the Industrial Commission’s ability to fund its operations.

Form MSC5 Report of Mediator Required to be Filed in All Cases under the Jurisdiction of the Industrial Commission Mediation Program (whether or not the mediation is held or completed)

In all Industrial Commission cases either: (1) ordered into mediation; or (2) made subject to the mediation program by the parties choosing to mediate voluntarily, the designated mediator is required to file a Form MSC5 Report of Mediator.

The Form MSC5 Report of Mediator must be filed not only when reporting that a mediated settlement conference was held and completed, but also to report that a mediated settlement conference was not held or was held but not completed by the mediation deadline.

A mediator is required to file the Form MSC5 Report of Mediator within seven (7) days of the expiration of the deadline to mediate the case, or within seven (7) days of completion of the mediation conference if that date is earlier.

Promptly filing the Form MSC5 Report of Mediator is crucial so that the Industrial Commission can properly docket matters, timely invoice fees that are essential to funding its operations, and accurately obtain statistical data for the evaluation of its mediation program.

To further explain the importance of the timely filing of the Form MSC5 Report of Mediator and to help answer any related questions that mediators and other parties may have, the Industrial Commission has created a document entitled, “Reports of Mediator Procedures and Best Practices”, which can be found here.

File Your Form MSC5 Within 7 Days of Mediated Settlement Conference

As indicated on the Form MSC5 Report of Mediator, mediators should be returning this form to the Commission within 7 days of the conclusion of the mediated settlement conference. The Commission understands that some cases do not result in an agreement at the mediated settlement conference but have a good chance of resolving shortly thereafter, in which case it is acceptable for the mediator to hold off on declaring an impasse that day. If, however, the parties have not reached an agreement within 7 days of the completion of the mediated settlement conference, the mediator should declare an impasse and file the Form MSC5.

Receiving completed Forms MSC5 from mediators in the prescribed timeframe is necessary so that the Commission can invoice carriers in a timely manner and collect Report of Mediator fees, which are necessary to fund Commission operations.

New Procedure: Emailing of Report of Mediator Invoices to Defense Counsel

Beginning June 1, 2022, the Industrial Commission will begin emailing Report of Mediator invoices to counsel of record for defendants in all cases where an employer or carrier has legal representation. Please note that these invoices will be emailed by the Commission to defense counsel only. Upon receipt of a client’s invoice, defense counsel should immediately forward the Report of Mediator invoice to the appropriate employer or carrier representative for payment. Pursuant to Rule 11 NCAC 23E .0203, payment shall be made in full by the employer or employer’s carrier upon receipt of the Commission’s Report of Mediator invoice.

New Procedure: Emailing of Appointment of Mediator Orders to Mediators

To promote efficiency and reduce costs, the Industrial Commission Mediation Section recently began emailing its Appointment of Mediator Orders to mediators for whom the Commission has an email address. Click here to read the April 14, 2022 announcement from Tammy R. Nance, Acting Dispute Resolution Coordinator, regarding this new procedure.

Mediators: Share Your Email Address with the Commission to Receive Appointment of Mediator Orders via Email

To share your current email address with the Commission so that you can receive Appointment of Mediator Orders by email, please provide your name and email address at this link.

Mediator Databases

NCIC Mediator Database

The N.C. Industrial Commission Mediator Database displays checkmarks in the NCIC Appointed List column for Mediators on the Commission's Appointed List. Mediators who are not on the Commission's Appointed List are not eligible for appointment by the Commission but may be chosen by the parties as their Mediator.

The NCIC Mediator Database is available on the NCIC Online Services Center

DRC Mediator Database

The NC Dispute Resolution Commission provides a database of certified mediators that is much larger and far more comprehensive than the N.C. Industrial Commission mediator database.

To search the DRC Mediator Database, first click here. You will be taken to the NC Dispute Resolution Commission Web Site. Once there, click the link entitled, "Mediated Settlement Conference Mediators (Superior Court).”

Mediation Section Staff

Below is a list of the Mediation Section staff.

N.C. Industrial Commission General Contact Information can be found HERE

Name Title E-mail Phone
Kevin V. Howell Dispute Resolution Coordinator &
Deputy Commissioner (919) 807-2511
Danny A. Salian Assistant Mediation Coordinator (919) 807-2620
Shelida Griffin Assistant Mediation Coordinator (919) 807-2586
Pamela Bass Mediation Administrative Specialist (919) 807-2610

Mediation Attendance Requirements

Mediation Forms

The following forms are used in the Mediation Section to request mediation orders, designate mediators, report the results of mediation conferences, and for other related purposes.

For a complete list of all NCIC Forms, click here.

Form MSC1, Consent Order for Mediated Settlement Conference

Form MSC2, Petition for Order Referring Case to Mediated Settlement Conference

Form MSC3, Order for Mediated Settlement Conference (Microsoft Word Version of Form MSC3)

Form MSC4, Designation of Mediator (Microsoft Word Version of Form MSC4)

Form MSC5, Report of Mediator (Microsoft Word Version of Form MSC5)

Form MSC6, Mediator’s Declaration of Interest and Qualifications (Microsoft Word Version of Form MSC6)

Form MSC7, Report of Evaluator

Form MSC8, Mediated Settlement Agreement (Microsoft Word Version of Form MSC8)

Form MSC9, Mediated Settlement Agreement - Alternative Form

NOTICE: If you have any questions about these forms, please e-mail