Services

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I choose the mediators that will handle my dispute?
A: The parties can select which two mediators will conduct the mediation. If the parties do not select the mediators, they will be chosen by OC Mediation.
 
Q: How much does a mediation cost?
A: Our fee for two mediators is $2000 for one-half day (4 hours). Our fee for a full day with two mediators is $3500. For us a "full day" means we will work with you and your clients from 9 AM until the dispute is settled that day.
 
Q: If the mediation results in a settlement, can I enforce that settlement
A: Generally speaking, California law provides that an agreement reached in mediation is NOT enforceable, admissible or discoverable unless the parties agree otherwise. Sections 1115-1128 of the California Evidence Code contain the details of the legal requirements regarding enforceability, admissibility and discoverability. Of particular importance are Sections 1123 and 1124:

1123. A written settlement agreement prepared in the course of, or pursuant to, a mediation, is not made inadmissible, or protected from disclosure, by provisions of this chapter if the agreement is signed by the settling parties and any of the following conditions are satisfied:

  1. The agreement provides that it is admissible or subject to disclosure, or words to that effect.
  2. The agreement provides that it is enforceable or binding or words to that effect.
  3. All parties to the agreement expressly agree in writing, or orally in accordance with Section 1118, to its disclosure.
  4. The agreement is used to show fraud, duress, or illegality that is relevant to an issue in dispute.

1124. An oral agreement made in the course of, or pursuant to, a mediation is not made inadmissible, or protected from disclosure, by the provisions of this chapter if any of the following conditions are satisfied:

  1. The agreement is in accordance with Section 1118.
  2. The agreement is in accordance with subdivisions (a), (b), and (d) of Section 1118, and all parties to the agreement expressly agree, in writing or orally in accordance with Section 1118, to disclosure of the agreement.
  3. The agreement is in accordance with subdivisions (a), (b), and (d) of Section 1118, and the agreement is used to show fraud, duress, or illegality that is relevant to an issue in dispute.
Q: Where will the mediation take place?
A: The mediations generally are held in our office or in the office of counsel for one of the parties or in some cases at one party's place of business. If it is felt that another location is important, the parties can arrange for such a place or, if requested, our office will arrange for an acceptable meeting place. The parties are responsible for the costs associated with our renting of a meeting place. We will travel to mutually agreed upon locations in Southern California without additional charge. Travel to other locations will be billed at the actual costs of travel. In this case, we will ask you for a deposit for the estimated travel costs. We can also conduct mediations in our office, but space is limited to 6 participants.
 
Q: Why do we have to submit mediation briefs?
A: For us to be as effective as possible, we need to understand the basics legal and factual position of each party. We expect that each party's brief will succinctly tell us that party's view of what occurred and what the law is.
 
Q: What if I have to cancel or reschedule my mediation session?
A: You can cancel a mediation session any time ten days before it is scheduled and you will receive a full refund of any advance fee paid. If you cancel after that, any advance fee will be retained by OC Mediation; however, if you schedule another mediation within 6 months of the original date, OC Mediation will credit you with 90% of the prior deposit towards the fee for the new date. You can reschedule a mediation at any time more than 24 hours in advance of the original time, subject to the availability of the mediators. If you reschedule less than 24 hours in advance of the original date, OC Mediation will charge a 10% rescheduling fee.
 
Q: Is it necessary for me to have a lawyer?
A: While you can choose not to use a lawyer in your mediation session, you may be at a big disadvantage if the other party has a lawyer. Although all of OC Mediation's mediators are lawyers, they cannot represent any party to the mediation or give any party legal advice.
 
Q: Your rates are significantly less than other mediation services. How can you afford to offer such reasonable rates?
A: Frankly, we believe that most private mediators are overcharging for their services, with rates as high as $5,000 or more per day. So, we think the right question to ask is “Why should I pay so much for so little when I can use OC Mediation and get the benefit of two lawyers/mediators with a combined experience of more than 50 years?”