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 spontaneously schedules Rule 33 mediations in hundreds of appeals each year. If your appeal is eligible, you may confidentially request that a mediation be conducted.

To learn more about the mediation program or request mediation, call the Circuit Mediation Office
at 312-435-6883, or write to us at:

Circuit Mediation Office
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
219 South Dearborn Street -
Room 1120
Chicago, Illinois 60604-2024.

You are also welcome to call or email any of us directly. We look forward to working with you.


For the safety of litigants, counsel, court personnel and the community-at-large, all FRAP Rule 33 mediations will be conducted by telephone until further notice.

Please advise the Circuit Mediation Office if your contact information should change.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding in a challenging time.


Directions to the courthouse

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

Frequently Asked Questions About the Mediation Program

"An Interest-Based Approach to Practicing Law"
Copyright 1998 State Bar of Montana and Paulette Kohman
Reproduced by permission; all rights reserved.

"Advocacy in Mediation: One Mediator's View"
Copyright 1995 American Bar Association
Reproduced by permission; all rights reserved. No part of this article may be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or downloaded or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the ABA.

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.