| Rick Igou

Rick is a mediator, arbitrator and attorney whose office is in Durham, North Carolina. His practice is limited to alternative dispute resolution and focused on helping people avoid the financial and emotional costs of going to court by assisting them in crafting their own, personal resolutions to disputes, disagreements and difficult mutual decisions. He has mediated or arbitrated hundreds of cases in a variety of family, Superior Court, District Criminal Court, business and community matters since first training as a mediator in 1990.

Our court system’s adversarial positioning often encourages the escalation rather than the resolution of conflict. The presumption that people must fight can lead to tooth-and-nail, all or nothing litigation that is frequently an excessively expensive, lengthy and ultimately damaging process.

Mediation, by encouraging cooperation rather than competition, offers the opportunity to avoid a fight altogether.

Mediation is particularly effective in situations where there is an established and possibly continuing relationship between disputants: separation and divorce cases — especially where children are involved — as well as family, small business, organizational and community disputes.

Rick is certified by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission as a Superior Court, Family Financial and Clerk of Court mediator, and he is also a Permanency Mediator with the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts. He serves as an arbitrator in North Carolina District Court District 14, and as a member of the FINRA Board of Arbitrators. He is a founding partner of Elder Matters of the Carolinas LLC, a mediation practice exclusively dedicated to helping families discuss and resolve age-related concerns. In addition to his practice, Rick has volunteered for three decades as a mediator, facilitator and trainer with the Dispute Settlement Center of Orange County, North Carolina’s first community dispute resolution center, and currently serves on its Board of Directors. He also serves on the North Carolina Supreme Court Dispute Resolution Committee’s Custody and Visitation Mediation Program’s Advisory Subcommittee, and is a Past-Chair of the Dispute Resolution Section of the North Carolina Bar Association, and a past President of the North Carolina Association of Professional Family Mediators.

Associations and Memberships

  • NC Supreme Court Dispute Resolution Committee’s Custody & Visitation Mediation Program’s Advisory Committee
  • Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Arbitration Panel Member
  • District Court Arbitrator, North Carolina 14th Judicial District
  • Board of Directors, Dispute Settlement Center of Orange County 2013-2018, 2020 – present.
  • North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission Ex-Officio Member 2015-2016
  • North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission District Criminal Court Ad-Hoc Committee 2015-2016
  • North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission District Court (FFS) Program Oversight Committee, 2013
  • Chair, Dispute Resolution Section, North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA) 2015-16
  • Section Council Member, Dispute Resolution Section, NCBA, 2008-2017
  • Co-Chair, Newsletter Committee, Dispute Resolution Section, NCBA 2012-15
  • Co-Chair CLE Committee, Dispute Resolution Section, NCBA 2011- 2012
  • Co-Chair Pro Bono Committee, Dispute Resolution Section, NCBA 2009–2012
  • President, North Carolina Association of Professional Family Mediators 2012 & 2014

Practice Areas & Fees


Mediation is a voluntary process of discussion that works toward mutual agreement, facilitated by a person who is trusted, neutral and impartial. A good mediator helps people have difficult conversations by listening, exploring alternatives and encouraging need-based rather than positional negotiation. The mediator does not make decisions for those involved, but helps guide them to their own, mutually agreeable resolution to their dispute. I have nearly 30 years of mediation and facilitation experience and am certified by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission as a Family Financial, Clerk of Court and Superior Court mediator. I am also a permanency mediator for the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts.


Arbitration is a fact-finding and decision-making process. The arbitrator’s role is quasi-judicial, with the arbitrator acting as a neutral to render a decision after hearing evidence and argument from all parties. Arbitration may be voluntary, contractual, or court-ordered, and may be binding or non-binding, depending on the forum. I have been an Arbitration Panel Member for FINRA Dispute Resolution since 2006, and a District Court Arbitrator for North Carolina’s 14th Judicial District, Durham County, since 2010.



  • I do not charge for an initial consultation for either mediation or arbitration. I’m happy to speak with you by phone or exchange email to discuss whether I might be able to help you. If I can’t help, I’ll do my best to refer you to someone who might be better able to do so.


  • For Family/Divorce mediation I offer a meeting with each spouse, individually, for up to one hour, and another meeting with both spouses, again for up to one hour, before finalizing an agreement to mediate. The fee for these three meetings is $175.00. If everyone agrees to go forward with mediation following the third meeting a contract will be completed and the $175 fee will be applied as a credit toward any fees for any later meetings.


  • Initial consultation: No fee.
  • Orientation fee: $175.00 for up to three one-hour meetings; can be credited to any later fees.
  • Administrative fee : $175.00 (one time charge)
  • Hourly Mediation fee : $175.00/hr (minimum charge of 1 hour).
  • Flat Fee: A flat fee for mediation may be available in individual cases, depending on the complexity of the matters to be discussed. Please contact me for details.
  • Travel fee : No charge for travel within 1 1/2 hours (one way) of Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill. Cost of further travel or overnight stay negotiable.
  • Postponement/Cancellation Fee: Based on Rule 7(E)(4) of the Rules governing Mediated settlement conferences in North Carolina, but may be waived for good cause. Please contact me for details.


  • Arbitration fees are dependent on the complexity of matter, and may be billed hourly or as a flat fee. There is no fee for consultation. Please contact me for details.


  • I offer a sliding fee scale, based on yearly income, for mediation clients of limited means. Please contact me for details.

Location & Contact

For more detailed information about Rick’s practice areas, experience, fees, or to schedule an orientation, please contact Rick at:

Richard J. Igou   1007 Vickers Avenue   Durham, NC 27707   919.450.8447   rick@rjigou.com

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