Mediator Information for “The Mediation Project” in the Norfolk Probate and Family Court Department


Due to COVID-19, mediators will not be returning to court until further notice. As of now, court is expected to resume starting August of 2021. When court resumes, MWI mediators will be relied on more than ever. See Roundtables below for information on staying engaged during this unprecedented time.


  • To keep mediators engaged during COVID-19, MWI is providing a series of roundtable events, free to all MWI mediators. Click here to review programs and to register.

Pre-Mediation Procedures 

  • Arrive at court by 8:45 AM to meet your mentor, co-mediator and observer. MWI’s meeting spot is in the designated courtroom, on the benches up front:
    • Monday: Judge Peterson, courtroom 5
    • Tuesday: First Justice Gorman, courtroom 1
    • Wednesday: Judge Phelan, courtroom 4
    • Thursday: Judge Cronan, courtroom 2

Screening / Mediation

  • The Assistant Judicial Case Manager will provide you with the case folder.
  • Meet the parties outside the courtroom and bring them to a reserved mediation room.
  • Start the meeting by conducting a mediation screening session with the parties. If they choose to mediate:
  1. Have them sign the Agreement to Participate form.
  2. Provide mediation services.
  3. If parties reach agreement, you may show the agreement to Kim before parties sign it, if you find that helpful.

Post Screening / Post Mediation

  • Have parties complete the Mediation Evaluation form.
  • Complete an ADR Metrics form – Josh needs a copy of this from. The original stays in the court file.
  • Make photocopies of every form used – One copy is for each party, one copy is for MWI. For photocopies please use the 2nd floor copier in the Judge’s Lobby.
  • The court gets the original Agreement to Participate, the original Agreement or Stipulation and the ADR Metrics form.
  • Parties must be back in court by 12:30 PM, if they want to try to be heard before lunch.
  • Return the parties to the courtroom they came from and hand the file to the Assistant Judicial Case Manager.
  • Spend at least 20 minutes debriefing the experience with your co-mediator and observer.
  • At the end of the day submit copies of all paperwork to MWI and call or email Josh to update him about the day including any highlights, questions or concerns.

Forms: Mediators are asked to bring the following forms to court each time you attend court to mediate or observe:

Mediators may review sample forms here:

Notarizing: Some court documents need to be notarized. If you need a notary, ask the Assistant Judicial Case Manager for assistance in finding a notary. If the Assistant Judicial Case Manager is not available ask Kim. If you are a notary, you may notarize documents if you wish.

Court Location and Directions: The Norfolk Probate and Family Court is located at 35 Shawmut Road, Canton, MA 02021. For directions to the court, click here. Free parking is available.

Key People at the Court:

ADR Coordinator
Kim LaDue – Your main contact when in court.

First Justice
Hon. Patricia A. Gorman

Associate Justices
Hon. Virginia Ward
Hon. Paul Cronin
Hon. Lee M. Peterson
Hon. George Phelan (circuit judge)(alternate month covering only)

Register of Probate
Patrick W. McDermott

Judicial Case Manager
Richard Schmidt

Assistant Judicial Case Managers
Clare Gamberoni
Kathryn Hannon
Jennifer Maggiacomo
Nancy Gargiulo, Sessions Clerk
John Joe Hallissey, Sessions Clerk
Myisha Cesar-Louissant, Sessions Clerk
Goro Matsuo, Sessions Clerk

For More Information

Please contact Josh Hoch at jhoch@mwi.org or 617-895-4028.