Circuit Mediation Office

Welcome to the Circuit Mediation Program of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals conducts confidential mediations in fully–counseled civil appeals in accordance with Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 33 and Circuit Rule 33. The purpose of Rule 33 mediations is to help litigants resolve appeals without the need for a judicial decision.

Most types of civil appeals are eligible for mediation. Pro se appeals are not eligible, nor are habeas corpus, sentencing, or mandamus appeals. The Court by order schedules Rule 33 mediations in hundreds of appeals each year. The order for mediation will post on the docket as “Notice of Circuit Rule 33 mediation issued”.

You also may confidentially request that a mediation be conducted if the appeal is eligible.

Mediations are conducted in-person, by Zoom, and by phone.

Our contact information follows. You are welcome to call or e-mail any of us directly to request a mediation or to learn more about the mediation program.

We look forward to working with you.


Rocco J. Spagna   Chief Circuit Mediator


Jillisa Brittan - Circuit Mediator


Stephanie Cummings - Mediation Coordinator



These resources may be helpful preparing for a Rule 33 mediation or deciding to request one:

•  Frequently Asked Questions About the Mediation Program: PDF version or web page version

•  Keys to Increasing Your Prospects for Success in Mediation: Insights from Chief Circuit Mediator for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit By Edward Casmere
(reprinted with permission from author Edward Casmere, a litigator, negotiator, and lawyer at Norton Rose Fulbright)

Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 33

RULE 33. Appeal Conferences

The court may direct the attorneys-and, when appropriate, the parties-to participate in one or more conferences to address any matter that may aid in disposing of the proceedings, including simplifying the issues and discussing settlement. A judge or other person designated by the court may preside over the conference, which may be conducted in person or by telephone. Before a settlement conference, the attorneys must consult with their clients and obtain as much authority as feasible to settle the case. The court may, as a result of the conference, enter an order controlling the course of the proceedings or implementing any settlement agreement.

CIRCUIT RULE 33. Prehearing Conference

At the conference the court may, among other things, examine its jurisdiction, simplify and define issues, consolidate cases, establish the briefing schedule, set limitations on the length of briefs, and explore the possibility of settlement.