The Prince William County Bar Association Circuit Court Conciliators Program
The Circuit Court Conciliator’s program is designed to provide an alternative to traditional court proceedings as a means of resolving civil discovery disputes on Motions Days in Circuit Court in the Thirty-First Judicial Circuit, which includes Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park, Virginia. Motions Day is every Friday.
At the beginning of court, the judge announces that conciliators are available to resolve civil discovery disputes, and sends the parties to the conciliators if they agree to participate. Conciliators are stationed in front of a designated courtroom. The conciliation session is conducted outside the courtroom, in an available meeting room convenient to the courtroom, prior to the case being called. This program is available for clients who have legal representation as well as pro se litigants, (those appearing before the court without an attorney). In the Thirty-First Judicial Circuit, there are six Circuit Court judges. Each judge reviews their docket for civil discovery disputes suitable for conciliation.
If the parties reach an agreement they present it to the court. Depending on the availability of the conciliator, (there could be others waiting to see the conciliator), the conciliator may go into court with the parties. The conciliator will handwrite a draft agreement, using a blank Agreed Order form and the parties will present the Order to the court. If no agreement is reached, then the parties would represent that to the court and there would be a 30 minute (up to 30 minutes) hearing. Whether a successful conciliation session, or a quick hearing, the results become a binding court order until such time as a full hearing can be heard.