Virginia's Judicial System

Notes of Interest to Virginia Certified Mediators

The following information was recently either emailed or mailed by postal service to all certified mediators. In the event you did not receive this communication, we are sharing it here in Resolutions.

Revised Profile Form

The Office of the Executive Secretary provides a Directory of Certified Mediators to all courts and on-line on the Supreme Court of Virginia's home page This year, due to budget restrictions, the Directory will not be printed in hard copy format and distributed to clerks' offices. The on-line directory will continue to be updated on a regular basis.

In an effort to make the directory more user-friendly, we are currently working on a special project to create a searchable mediator directory. Consumers will be able to identify certain mediator characteristics/qualifications they are looking for and retrieve a list of mediators matching their requirements. More details regarding the directory and its estimated time of completion will be forthcoming. Please find attached a new Mediator Profile Form that will be used to develop the searchable directory. Please enter your responses on the form and return it to our office by January 17, 2003. The form is also accessible on the Supreme Court homepage under Mediator Forms at the address referenced above. If you do not complete and return this form to our office, your name will not appear in the new directory.

New Recertification Due Date

The current Guidelines for Certification of Court-Referred Mediators describes a recertification deadline of every two years on July 1. The date of July 1 was originally selected over a decade ago to be consistent with the court's fiscal year. That connection with the fiscal year, however, has made it increasingly challenging for our office to not only review proposals and allocate new contracts to mediation providers effective July 1st, but also to review and recertify over 500 mediators by July 1st. In evaluating options for shifting the recertification due date, the date of November 1st is attractive for many reasons. First, it comes after the summer holidays when it is difficult to attend continuing education programs. Second, it is not too close to the fall and winter holidays. Third, it is consistent with the Virginia State Bar's CLE due date of October 31st for attorneys.

Effective in 2003, the new recertification due date shall be November 1st. Mediators who would have been due for recertification on July 1, 2003 will now be due November 1, 2003. We hope that this change will not inconvenience you and will instead provide you with additional time to meet your recertification requirements. Please feel free to contact Melanie Rinehults or me if you have any questions.

Invoice Inquiries

Should you experience any difficulty in receiving payment for mediation invoices, either under OES contract or with the DC-40 for family mediations, the following procedures are suggested. First, verify with your court clerk's office that the invoice was signed and forwarded to the Office of the Executive Secretary. Then, if no payment is received 30 days from the time it was sent for payment, contact Melanie Rinehults in the DRS office to request that she check with the Accounts Payable supervisor as to the status of the invoice. The Accounts Payable Department processes all invoices they receive within three to five days so, if an invoice is 30 days past due, it is likely it was either not received in their office or that it was returned to the clerk's office because a signature or attachment was missing.

Revised DC-40 for Invoicing Family Mediations

If you are a family mediator who does custody, support and visitation mediation for the J&DR courts, you will want to read on. Effective January 1, 2003, a 12-character alphanumeric court case number must be included on Form DC-40, List of Allowances, for each case for which payment is requested. This court case number will be utilized to avoid the duplication of payments resulting from the submission of duplicate requests for payment (DC-40) for services provided to the courts. All Forms DC-40 submitted without a 12-character case number for services provided after January 1, 2003, will be returned to the courts.

A revised version of Form DC-40 is now available for shipment to the courts. This revised form will have the line for case numbers separated into blocks to clearly indicate that a 12-character case number is needed. The current DC-40 will continue to be accepted by the Accounts Payable Department for payment after January 1st as long as the appropriate case number is included.

This page last modified: February 20, 2003