Guidelines & Procedures
Mediation Briefs: Mediation briefs are due at least three days before the mediation date. Counsel are encouraged to exchange briefs; any confidential information may be submitted to the mediator separately. Briefs may be submitted via email, facsimile, or mail to the contact information included in the notice. Voluminous briefs should be delivered by messenger; please call Ms. Deck for a delivery address.
Such briefs should include:
- Concise statement of the facts
- Review of contentions and law
- Description of settlement posture
- Analysis or breakdown of damages
- Any previous settlement negotiations
- Any other information counsel deems relevant to the facilitation of a settlement, including party dynamics, underlying issues, and whether a joint session would be constructive.
At the Mediation - Procedures:
Attendance: Everyone whose decision is necessary for settlement should personally attend the mediation. This may include plaintiffs, family members or representatives of plaintiffs, insurance representatives, and defendants who are uninsured, underinsured, or are being defended under a reservation of rights. If it is not feasible to have all decision makers present or available by phone, please notify Ms. Deck in advance so that she can work with all parties to determine how to proceed.
Confidentiality: All discussion at a mediation is strictly confidential. It can never be referred to in court or arbitration. See Evidence Code 1115 - 1128. By signing a written Agreement for Mediation at the mediation, it is agreed that no privilege can be waived by disclosure in mediation.
Courtesy: A less adversarial tone than seen in court or deposition is helpful in mediation. Attorneys and parties are asked to maintain a respectful, courteous demeanor during mediation. Highly, adversarial comments can interfere with the process, by causing positions to solidify before reason negotiation begins. The opportunity for settlement is maximized by making it easier for others to recognize the wisdom of compromise.
Lunch / Breaks: The private caucuses leave each side ample time to get a sandwich or snack, to bring back to the mediation office. Ms. Deck normally will not interrupt the momentum of the mediation to break for lunch. If you plan to leave the office during the mediation, please let Ms. Deck know where you will be.
Settlement: When settlement is achieved, the terms will be memorialized. It is essential to make a written record of the settlement terms. Ms. Deck will facilitate the execution of a stipulation for settlement or a long-form Settlement Agreement & Mutual Release, to be signed before the parties leave the mediation.