This week's IP Bulletin asks, Time for Mandatory Mediation at Federal Circuit?. But I'm too cheap to buy a subscription. Nonetheless, according to Professor Gilbert J. Ginsburg, in "The Case for a Mediation Program in the Federal Circuit American University Law Review, Vol. 50:1379 (2001):
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (the â€œFederal Circuitâ€�) is the only Circuit Court of Appeals that does not have a mediation program that provides third party assistance to parties seeking an alternative to appellate litigation. The other twelve Circuit Courts of Appealâ€”the regional Circuit Courtsâ€”all have well established mediation programs and only the Eighth Circuitâ€™s program is voluntary. All the regional Circuits have settlement conference programs that provide mediation services when requested by the parties. The Federal Circuit does not provide any form of mediation or alternate dispute resolution (â€œADRâ€�) when the parties desire, leaving unassisted settlement negotiations or appellate litigation as the only options. I believe that the Federal Circuit should join the other twelve Circuits and establish a formal, court-sponsored mediation program.