Call Today (615) 449-8700

Civil Law and Civil Mediation in Tennessee: A Comprehensive Guide

In the realm of legal disputes within Tennessee, civil law encompasses a broad array of non-criminal matters, including family law, property disputes, contracts, and personal injury cases. While litigation has traditionally been the path to resolving such disputes, mediation presents a valuable alternative. Particularly, the Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 outlines a structured framework for mediation, emphasizing its importance in the state’s legal landscape.

The Role of Rule 31 Mediators

Rule 31 mediators are pivotal in facilitating discussions between disputing parties, aiming to reach a mutually agreeable resolution without court intervention. These mediators are not judges but certified individuals who have met specific qualifications set by the Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission (ADRC). To become a Rule 31-listed mediator in Tennessee, one must undergo rigorous training, adhere to continuing education requirements, and demonstrate proficiency in mediation techniques.

Becoming a Supreme Court Rule 31 mediator involves understanding the nuances of family law and general civil disputes. The ADRC mandates that mediators engage in an ongoing learning process, ensuring they remain updated on the latest legal practices and mediation strategies.

The Mediation Process: An Informal yet Effective Approach

Mediation under Rule 31 is designed to be informal, providing a more relaxed environment where parties can openly discuss their issues. Unlike traditional court settings, mediation sessions offer a confidential space for dialogue, guided by the mediator’s expertise in fostering communication and identifying potential solutions.

This alternative dispute resolution method has proven effective in resolving various civil litigation cases, from family law matters to complex commercial disputes. The informal nature of mediation encourages a cooperative approach, often leading to more satisfying outcomes for all involved.

The Benefits of Mediation

Choosing mediation as a means to resolve disputes offers several advantages:

  • Cost-Efficiency: Mediation typically requires less time and money compared to traditional litigation.
  • Confidentiality: The mediation session remains private, protecting the reputations and relationships of the parties involved.
  • Control: Parties maintain control over the outcome rather than having a decision imposed by a judge.
  • Flexibility: Solutions can be tailored to meet the unique needs of the parties, going beyond what a court might order.
  • Preservation of Relationships: Mediation fosters communication and mutual respect, which can be crucial in disputes involving ongoing relationships, such as those in family law.


Civil mediation under Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 offers a compelling alternative to traditional litigation. By engaging a Rule 31 listed mediator, parties involved in civil disputes can benefit from a process designed to conduct court-ordered mediation effectively. This approach not only meets the listing and continuing education requirements set forth by the ADRC but also aligns with the evolving needs of our legal system.

At McBrien Armistead Law Group, we understand the significance of alternative dispute resolution methods in today’s legal landscape. Our team includes experienced Rule 31 general civil mediators committed to guiding our clients through the mediation process with professionalism and care. Whether you’re facing a civil law dispute or any other form of civil litigation, our goal is to help you find a resolution that meets your needs and facilitates a positive way forward.

Don’t hesitate to contact us today for more information on how mediation can benefit your situation or to schedule a mediation session with one of our qualified mediators. Together, we can explore the most effective path to resolving your legal disputes.

Thank you for reading!