Do I have to be present at mediation? I'm from out of state and I don't want to fly or drive in for a meeting.

According to the rules outlined on the JCC web site , you have to show good reason for not being present at the mediation. If you are from out of the area, you can be connected to the meeting by the telephone or a video conference on the Internet. These other means of communication must be approved by the mediator in advance of the meeting.