Judge issues order for Big East, WVU

A judge in Rhode Island has ordered the Big East and West Virginia into non-binding mediation in an attempt to resolve their lawsuits against each other.

According to The Associated Press, Providence County Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein signed the order Tuesday and scheduled a status conference for Feb. 9. The Big East must also answer to West Virginia's filings by Jan. 18, Silverstein ordered.

West Virginia has sued the Big East in its home state in order to be able to join the Big 12 in time for the 2012 season. The Big East then sued West Virginia in Rhode Island in an attempt to force the school to abide by the conference bylaw requiring schools to wait 27 months before leaving.

Both sides filed motions to dismiss, and both requests were denied.

So what non-binding mediation? Generally both parties and their attorneys meet informally with a mediator to try and resolve their differences before trial. Everything said during the mediation is confidential and cannot be used during trial. The mediator's role is to basically be a facilitator between the two sides.