Media companies will foot the bill to have former Federal Court judge Ray Finkelstein QC mediate issues with prosecutors ahead of a dozen possible George Pell-related contempt trials.
Eleven corporations and 19 individuals are charged with contempt over news stories about the conviction of Cardinal Pell - who was later acquitted - for child sexual abuse.
Suppression orders in place because of a pending second trial, which was later dropped, meant his original conviction could not be reported until months later.
But multiple media outlets published information about the conviction of a high-profile Australian and referenced court orders.
Victoria's Director of Public Prosecutions Kerri Judd is "extremely keen" for the media outlets - including News Corp and Nine newspapers - to face one trial before the end of this year.
But Matt Collins QC, representing all 30 accused, foreshadowed 13 trials because it would be an "injustice" for journalists from separate companies to face trial together.
Justice John Dixon said the first or only trial could begin in November, but ordered mediation first for parties to resolve a number of pre-trial issues.
Mr Finkelstein is no stranger to issues involving the media.
In 2011 he headed an independent inquiry into the media, investigating regulation and oversight after the News of the World phone hacking scandal in the UK and local concerns about the blurring of news and opinion in political coverage.
Lisa De Ferrari QC, appearing for Ms Judd, initially baulked at the cost of a private mediator, noting the budgetary constraints of the public prosecution agency.
She also accused media companies of "shadow boxing" about issues in the past.
But Dr Collins rejected the assertion, saying the issues were well known and the balance of the matter is for Ms Judd to "prove her case"
He said media organisations, anxious to have the issues resolved, would foot the bill to allow Mr Finkelstein to step in as an independent mediator.
Justice Dixon urged the parties to solve their problems "without highfalutin letters where people throw rocks at each other from the tops of hills".
If they can't resolve issues he'll decide for them in another hearing on September 2, he said.
"And if you don't like that, you know where the registry is to go to the Court of Appeal," the no-nonsense judge said.
Mediation is expected to take place mid-next month.