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Will I be expected to attend and actively participate in discussions at the mediated settlement conference?

You must attend unless all parties and the mediator or the court agree otherwise. The mediation process is designed to empower litigants to take a more active role in discussing and settling their case. However, some litigants prefer to let their attorney speak for them. You may want to discuss your participation with your attorney prior to mediation. Because mediation is an informal proceeding, you will not be sworn in or asked to testify about any matter in your case.

Source: North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission pamphlet “Mediated Settlement Conferences in Superior Court Civil Actions”
Attribution: North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission