(A) The board strongly encourages all parties to voluntarily engage in settlement discussions and attempt to reach voluntary agreement of pending appeals. Such settlement discussions among parties may occur without board involvement throughout the time that an appeal pends before the board. To the extent settlement discussions successfully resolve pending appeals, voluntary dismissals, joint stipulations of value, and joint remands must be filed with the board in accordance with rule 5717-1-17 of the Administrative Code.
(B) Parties may seek, and the board may order, formal mediation consistent with Ohio's Uniform Mediation Act ("UMA"), Chapter 2710. of the Revised Code. Additional information about the UMA may be found on the supreme court of Ohio's website. In the event joint mediation is sought by the parties, or is ordered by the board, the parties to the appeal shall be directed to secure, at their shared expense, a mediator who will facilitate communication and negotiation between the parties in order to assist them in reaching a voluntary agreement regarding the pending appeal. Parties are expected to jointly select a mediator, taking into consideration a variety of factors, including training, experience, cost, location, and subject matter or process expertise. Additional information regarding the engagement of a private mediator may be secured from state and local bar associations and private organizations. General information is made available through the board's website.
(C) Settlement discussions or formal mediation may proceed simultaneously with established case management schedules and will not alter the deadlines therein.