Since 1992, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta has offered legal combatants the chance to resolve their disputes through mediation. By telephone, or in person, the court’s mediation office has often helped settle cases before they went before a panel of judges for oral argument.

Now, with a surge in caseloads, the court’s mediation service appears to be conducting increasing numbers of settlement discussions after oral arguments. Moreover, the service plans to install an office in Miami within the next two months, said Stephen Kinnard. chief of the circuit mediation office in Atlanta.