Services

Mediation Procedure

TWO MEDIATORS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE

At OC Mediation our approach to civil litigation mediation is different from the approach of other mediators. All of our mediations are conducted by two experienced mediators, working together to provide you with the clearest opportunity to settle your case.

Our mediations are not based on gimmicks or style but rather on realistic assessment and hard negotiation. We work hard to help you settle your dispute.

BEGINNING MEDIATION

Mediation is begun by the parties' out of court agreement or in-court stipulation or order. A workable agreement or stipulation should specify who will be attending the mediation, the date of the mediation, the place of the mediation, who will be paying for the mediation and, in general, the nature of the controversy to be mediated.

Available mediation dates can be obtained by telephone or email and are set up on a first-come, first-served basis. Please be prepared to provide the following information: (a) names of parties and, if applicable, case name and number; (b) names, addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers of all counsel; (c) the specifics of the parties' agreement regarding the mediation fee; and (d) the parties' agreement, if any, regarding the location of the mediation. 

LOCATION

The mediations generally are held in the spacious and well-equipped offices of Jilio-Ryan, Hunter & Olsen.  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 their specified meeting place.

ATTENDANCE BY DECISION MAKERS

Attendance by appropriate decision makers greatly enhances the chances of successful dispute resolution. Each side is encouraged to ensure that the principal parties and any person whose approval is needed for resolution attend the mediation. In cases where there is insurance coverage for a claim, defense counsel is requested to arrange for the insurance representative to attend the mediation or be available by telephone.

MEDIATION BRIEFS

Each party is requested to submit a mediation brief. Mediation briefs will be kept confidential unless the parties otherwise instruct us. Briefs and all other material submitted at the mediation will be destroyed immediately after the mediation process is finished. Briefs should be submitted at least three days before the mediation, and should include brief statements regarding:

  • the facts of the situation
  • the applicable law
  • the status of the case
  • the strengths and weaknesses of your client's position
  • the strengths and weaknesses of your opponent's position
  • potential problems at trial
  • an analysis of damages
  • prior settlement discussions, and
  • any other information counsel believes would be helpful

 

THE MEDIATION ITSELF

At the beginning of the session the mediators will briefly meet with counsel for all parties. If counsel and the mediators agree, the mediation will then proceed to a session attended by all parties and counsel. At this joint session, counsel and the parties will be given an opportunity to speak and present their thoughts. Once the joint session is completed, or if there is no joint session, the remainder of the mediation is usually composed of a series of alternate separate sessions between the mediators and each of the parties.

CONFIDENTIALITY

All briefs submitted and all statements made at mediation are confidential. At the beginning of the mediation, all parties and counsel will be asked to sign an agreement confirming the confidentiality of all materials submitted and statements made at the mediation.

AGREEMENT

If your matter is settled at the mediation, generally a hand written or computer generated summary of the agreement will be prepared and signed by all parties and counsel. The mediators will work with counsel to prepare a memorandum that accurately and effectively represents the parties' agreement. Generally, thereafter, a comprehensive settlement agreement and/or release will be prepared by counsel for the parties.

BINDING NATURE OF THE AGREEMENT

Generally speaking, California law provides that an agreement reached in mediation is NOT enforceable, admissible or discoverable unless the parties agree otherwise. For details of the legal requirements regarding enforceability, admissibility and discoverability, see California Evidence Code Sections 1115-1128.