Mediation Information

Scheduling a Mediation

To schedule a mediation, first call or e-mail Linda Torres to obtain available dates. We suggest the parties agree to a couple alternative dates in case your first choice is no longer available when you call back to schedule the mediation.

Once the parties have selected a preferred date, contact our office again to confirm that the date is still available and to reserve the date for your mediation. You will then be asked to send an e-mail with the following information: (1) full names of all parties; (2) names and contact information (telephone, fax and e-mail) for all counsel; and (3) how the parties have agreed to share the mediation fee. Once we receive this information from you, we will send all counsel a letter confirming your reserved date, providing you with information about the mediation and due dates, and enclosing an invoice.

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Mediation Fee &
Cancellation Policy

The mediation fee is due two weeks from the date the confirming letter is sent to all counsel. The fee is fully refundable if the mediation is cancelled or rescheduled at least three weeks prior to the scheduled date. If the mediation is cancelled or rescheduled less than three weeks before the mediation date, the fee will not be refunded unless we are able to schedule another mediation on that date.

Schedule of Fees:  
  Single Plaintiff Multiple Plaintiff Class Action
Bay Area $8,000 $9,000 $12,000
Sacramento $9,000 $10,000 $13,000

The mediation fee includes all preparation time, a full-day mediation, and reasonable follow-up. The fee also includes travel costs for mediations outside the Bay Area.

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Mediation Statements

When Due: Mediation statements are due one week before the mediation. If the statement and accompanying exhibits total less than thirty (30) pages, you can submit the statement by e-mail only. However, if the statement and accompanying exhibits exceed thirty (30) pages, please e-mail the statement and have a hard-copy of the statement and exhibits hand-delivered or sent by overnight mail.

Exchanging Statements: It has been my experience that mediations are generally more productive and efficient if the parties exchange mediation statements with one another, so that counsel – and their clients – have an opportunity to learn and fully consider the other side's views in advance of the mediation. For this reason, I strongly encourage the parties to exchange statements, rather than to submit confidential statements "for the mediator's eyes only." At the same time, if there is information that you feel it is important for me to know but that you do not wish to share with the other side, you are welcome to submit a separate confidential letter setting forth that information.

Contents of Statement: The most persuasive and helpful mediation statements are those that focus on the relevant facts and evidence, rather than on hyperbole and rhetoric. Put simply: I need to know what you claim happened and what evidence you have to support your version of events. If you have supporting documents, witness statements or deposition testimony, please attach them as exhibits to your statement. (It is helpful if you highlight those portions of the documents and testimony upon which you are relying, and if you include an index of exhibits if there are more than a few). If there is a central or particularly complicated legal issue in the case, a brief discussion of the issue and controlling authority is helpful; otherwise, you do not need to provide a primer on employment law generally.

Length: Except in unusually complex cases, mediation statements generally should not exceed 10-12 pages (excluding exhibits).

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Joint Sessions

I usually hold a brief, introductory joint session at the beginning of the mediation. This provides an opportunity for everyone to meet, and gives me a chance to explain certain introductory matters to the group (e.g., confidentiality, the role of the mediator, the process and schedule for the day). I generally do not encourage parties to make opening statements or presentations during the joint session as I find this is often counterproductive. However, if the parties wish to have a substantive joint session or to otherwise address one another directly, I am always happy to provide that opportunity.

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Conference Rooms

I generally conduct mediations in my office. I have four conference rooms: three that can accommodate 10 people each, and a small break-out room that can accommodate 4 people. If any of the parties will have more than 10 people in attendance, or if you anticipate a joint session with more than a total of 10 people, please let my assistant know at the time you reserve a date for the mediation, so that we can discuss making alternative arrangements.

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