Qualifications to Serve as a Court Neutral

Diverse panel of professionals interviewing candidate for neutral positionTo ensure that our litigants are served by high quality neutrals, certain training and experience requirements are in place. Part 146 of the Rules of the Chief Administrative Judge outline the necessary qualifications to serve as a Mediator or Neutral Evaluator with the courts.  Below is a summary of what is required to become a Mediator or Neutral Evaluator in the courts. Note: both roles also have continuing education requirements.


 Mediator Qualifications

Mediators with the NYS Unified Court System require basic and advanced mediation training in a course approved under Part 146 as well as experience serving as a mediator. Here is an overview of these requirements: 

24-hour Initial Mediation Training

Basic mediation course approved under Part 146

Provides basic skills training and theoretical foundation for mediation as an ADR process


16-hour Additional Mediation Training

Advanced mediation course approved under Part 146

Provides advanced skills training and relevant lessons on a specific case type.



Recent experience mediating actual cases in the subject area of the types of cases referred to them. According to the guidelines,

Each court and mediation roster will have their own recent experience requirements for new mediators
One way to get experience after being trained is through an apprenticeship.

NOTE: Some courts may require additional training and experience beyond Part 146’s requirements. Acceptance on a court roster may depend on a court’s need for mediators at any given time and may include a particular court’s need for mediators with specific case-type training or experience 

In addition to these requirements, court mediators must complete six hours of continuing education relevant to their respective practice areas every two years. 

**Apply to serve as a mediator with the court system**

Part 146 Course Approval began October 15, 2010. If you have taken a mediation course before this date, you may apply to serve on a local court roster provided that the training you took otherwise meets the requirements of Part 146. Applicants will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Final placement on any court roster is in the discretion of the local Administrative Judge.  

 Neutral Evaluator Qualifications

Neutral evaluators who wish to qualify for appointment to a court roster must have specific training and relevant experience as either a lawyer or a judge.

6 hours of

Neutral Evaluation course approved under Part 146.

Covers procedural and ethical matters related to neutral evaluation.


5 years of Substantial Experience 

At least 5 years of substantial experience in the specific subject area of the cases that will be referred to them as either:

A judge who served for five years, or 
A lawyer  admitted to practice law for 5 years.


 Further Information about Part 146

Each court may have additional requirements. You may contact a particular program to find about more about their requirements.   

Questions concerning Part 146 may be directed by e-mail to Part146@nycourts.gov or by telephone (877-Part-146). 

Full Text of Part 146