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Trial is expensive, time consuming, anxiety producing especially if the case involves several different issues, multiple parties and massive amount of exhibits. The outcome in a trial is also unknown since jury decides the case. Mediation is a private, confidential procedure that can be productive, instrumental in settlement and effective in cost and time.


Mediation is an informal hearing where parties voluntarily participate in a negotiation by which an impartial neutral helps parties in resolving a dispute in a pre-litigation or in course of litigation process to avoid trial. The process is a non-adversarial conflict resolution. The Mediator facilitates communication between the parties by focusing on the issues of the dispute realistically and provide options that meet the interests or needs of the parties in an effort to resolve the conflict and find a mutually agreeable solution.


The Med-Arb process begins as traditional mediation, but if settlement is not reached, the mediation process ends and arbitration process begins. Each respective party will present a closing argument as the arbitrator will take the matter under submission. The med-arb is designed for parties to reach a mutually acceptable settlement with the help of a mediator, but who agree to a binding arbitration by the neutral’s decision, should they be unsuccessful in reaching a settlement. The med-arb is designed to settle the matter in the mediation phase before a binding decision is rendered in arbitration.


The Mini-trial is an evaluative mediation procedure and not an adjudicative process.  The mini-trial process treats the matter as business rather than a legal matter. The mediator is the chair of the panel with the non-legal party representatives from each side that have full settlement authority as panel members. The mediator works with the parties before the mini-trial hearing to facilitate agreements. The mediator then moderates the hearing and evaluates if necessary.  After an evaluation is offered, the mediator then tries to facilitate a settlement.


Early Neutral Evaluation is an informal, non-binding and open procedure to settle disputes before trial. The parties make their case, the mediator asks questions where the parties question each other. The mediator presents the analysis of the issues, offers an opinion on how the case would fare in court, suggests ways to bridge the gap between parties and offers to facilitate a settlement. Early neutral evaluation process helps narrow issues and give parties a more realistic view of a potential outcome in court.


The focus group is a type of mediation procedure where the mediator presents select key issues to a jury and assist the parties to examine their case before trial with a similar setting.  The parties will have access to jurors’ perceptions. The prospective jurors range between 6-14 jurors depending on the size of the case. A jury consultant may be involved also depending on the case and whether parties agree to have an additional professional to moderate and provide questions.


Nonbinding Arbitration

Nonbinding arbitration is a procedure where the arbitrator determines the rights of the parties involved in the dispute, however, the determination is not binding and is not enforceable in a court of law. The arbitrator issues an “award” as an advisory opinion on the merits of the case. The parties agreeing to a nonbinding arbitration utilize the advisory opinion to reach a negotiated settlement.


The parties agree to submit their dispute to an arbitrator who will hear the arguments and evidence from all parties, arbitrator will render a written decision, which is binding on all the parties. The parties may mutually agree upon the rules and procedures, such as California Code of Civil Procedure section 1280 et seq., other relevant Arbitration Rules proposed by the arbitrator and other rules governing the arbitration proceedings. The parties may agree to bracket to high/low figure to the award. 1) If the decision falls between the brackets, the value of the decision is awarded as is and 2) If the decision falls below the bracket, each bracket is the minimum or maximum that gets awarded.


The parties agree on a former judge, to serve as a Private Judge or Judge Pro Tem to hear the matter in a private a jury or bench trial. The verdict will be binding or non-binding. The parties may hire jurors utilizing a local jury research company. The private judge’s decision can be appealable.


In a mock trial, parties have the opportunity to see how key witnesses perform and evaluate witnesses’ behavior before the jury that jurors may find helpful or bothersome. Mock trial is focused on the witnesses and is different than a focus group. The mock trial presents tailored questionnaire and helps the parties to measure the credibility and how the witnesses are perceived.


We provide MCLE FREE seminars on dispute resolution topics. Attorneys will receive general MCLE or ethics credits depending on the program including but not limited to Ethical issues in mediation, arbitration and private judging.


Our Cross Border Disputes Panel is composed of world-class mediators located in North America who are highly experienced in resolving all types of complex cross-border disputes.


Our Global Panel is composed of world-class mediators located across the globe outside of North America who are highly experienced in resolving all types of complex cross-border commercial disputes.