There’s an entry from July 26, 2016 on the docket for the Rossi v. Industrial Heat court case regarding mediation between the two parties which Judge Cecelia Altonaga had mandated:
ORDER Scheduling Mediation before Thomas E. Scott. Mediation Hearing set for 1/12/2017 10:00 AM. The parties are reminded that a report of the mediation is due within seven (7) days after the mediation conference. Signed by Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga on 7/26/2016.
Not having much knowledge or experience with legal matters I have done some reading about what is involved in court-ordered mediation, and have found some useful information. Here’s an excerpt from an article the Findlaw website:
Mediation is a procedure in which the parties discuss their disputes with the assistance of a trained impartial third person(s) who assists them in reaching a settlement. It may be an informal meeting among the parties or a scheduled settlement conference. The dispute may either be pending in a court or potentially a dispute which may be filed in court. Cases suitable for mediation are disputes in commercial transactions, personal injury, construction, workers compensation, labor or community relations, divorce, domestic relations, employment or any other matters which do not involve complex procedural or evidentiary issues. Attendance at the mediation conference is voluntary by the parties, except where governed by statute or contract clause.
The mediator is a person with patience, persistence and common sense. She/he has an arsenal of negotiation techniques, human dynamics skills and powers of effective listening, articulation and restatement. The mediator is a facilitator who has no power to render a resolution to the conflict. The parties will fashion the solution as the mediator moves through the process. In many jurisdictions the mediator is an attorney but can not give legal advise while in the role of a mediator.
Whether this mediation will help to resolve the dispute remains to be seen. I don’t think either side would signal publicly whether they were inclined to settle before the case goes to trial. Certainly Andrea Rossi has not shown any signs of softening his position. In a recent comment about the court case on the Journal of Nuclear Physics he wrote:
The matter of the fact is that to make a settlement it takes two parties. War is the logic continuation of a relationship when other means are no more possible ( Von Clausevitz ) : symmetrically, diplomacy is the logic continuation of war when other means return to be possible. I absolutely do not like war, but if I have to do it, I do. Unfortunately, in this world freedom is not for free.