Mediation Procedures


Scheduling the mediation

If the parties have agreed to mediate, please contact case manager Melissa Wai Gorin ((714) 852-5140, to discuss scheduling and location. If the parties are unsure, Mr. Knight will happily have a pre-mediation conference call with either or both sides to discuss any issues or concerns about the procedural and settlement posture of the case. Mr. Knight holds mediations at the offices of Judicate West unless counsel wishes to host or an outside venue is needed.


Mediation fees

For current fee schedule, contact case manager Melissa Wai Gorin ((714) 852-5140,

Once a date is selected, confirmations will be sent along with an invoice. Fees will be refunded if the mediation is canceled within the Judicate West cancellation policy.


Mediation briefs

Mediation briefs should be submitted at least one week before the mediation. Briefs should be candid and include, at a minimum, descriptions of strengths and weaknesses, key exhibits (including key deposition excerpts), and prior settlement negotiations.


Sharing information

Although not required, the parties are highly encouraged to share briefs with each other, omitting or redacting any information the parties wish to preserve as confidential for the mediator. If edited or redacted briefs are not shared, the parties should ensure that all critical information bearing on the valuation of the matter is exchanged well in advance of the mediation. For example, if an insurance carrier is involved, counsel should ensure that the carrier has the information it needs to set an appropriate reserve level well in advance of mediation. This also applies to defense counsel who have obtained material information that the plaintiff does not have. Surprises at mediation often can result in an inability to settle due to inadequate reserves or authority, can trigger a party aborting the mediation due to surprise information and the resulting need to take discovery on it, etc.


Advance preparation of long-form settlement agreement ENCOURAGED

The parties' counsel are encouraged to circulate a draft long-form agreement so that the parties may begin thinking about potential settlement terms and the ultimate form of a final agreement. The Mediator's goal is to end the mediation with a fully executed long-form agreement, if possible and if the parties agree.