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Court orders Kemp and Bottoms to mediation over mask mandate lawsuit

A hearing had been scheduled for next Tuesday, however, they said the mediation must take place before that date.

ATLANTA — The Fulton County Superior Court has ordered Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Gov. Brian Kemp to attend mediation after the state sued the city over its mask mandate and COVID-19 restrictions.

This may lead the way for both parties to settle the dispute out of court. A hearing had been scheduled for July 28, however, they said the mediation must take place before that date. 

Mayor Bottoms said she called the governor last night, hoping the two could air out their differences. 

"It is not my desire to continue to waste the resources of the City of Atlanta to fight a lawsuit that I believe we can find common ground on," Bottoms said. 

Bottoms appeared on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon Thursday night, saying she hoped they could agree to disagree. 

RELATED: Bottoms says she had 'very good conversation' with Kemp, hopeful they can 'agree to disagree'

"All counsel must be present with access to the parties at the mediation, must be vested with full settlement authority, and must make a good faith effort to resolve the issues involved in this case," the court order said. 

The mediation can take place via video conference.

At this point, the hearing remains scheduled for Tuesday after two previous judges recused themselves within hours of each other. 

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