Mediation in South Carolina workers’ compensation cases is about to become fairly commonplace.  The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission has approved new regulations that will make mediation mandatory in a number of admitted cases.   While the General Assembly’s approval is pending, the Commission is notifying parties that if the new regulations are approved they will affect cases set for hearing as early as July 2013.  Under the proposed regulations, with the exception of contested death cases, there will be no mandatory mediation in South Carolina for denied cases.  This, however, doesn’t mean that parties cannot voluntarily agree to participate in mediation.  It is certainly conceivable that as mandatory mediations become more commonplace that voluntary mediations will also become more utilized if attorneys, insurance carriers and employers begin to see the benefits of mediating.  It will be interesting to see how these new regulations impact all workers’ compensation cases over the next year.