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Prior to the Mediation:

Briefs: At least five days prior to the mediation, the parties are expected to submit briefs explaining their positions both factually and legally. The briefs should include information regarding any settlement demands and/or offers, as well as any information that, although not necessarily relevant for purposes of the litigation of the case, may be relevant for purposes of the mediation.

The parties should exchange their briefs if they have agreed to do so. If the parties prefer their briefs to be confidential, they should mark them as such before submitting them.

Pre-Mediation Conferences: Generally, Mr. Smith will contact the parties prior to the mediation to discuss any questions he might have after reviewing the briefs and to discuss any final matters that the parties wish to address prior to what should be an efficient and productive mediation.

The Mediation:

Attendance: All parties necessary to come to final agreement on the resolution of the case must be present for the mediation. If, for some reason, a decision-making party cannot be present, he or she must be available by phone during the entirety of the mediation.

Joint Sessions/Caucuses: During the pre-mediation conferences, Mr. Smith will present his suggestions for how the mediation will be conducted, and the parties are expected to raise any concerns regarding the suggested course of the mediation at that time (e.g., the parties believe that a joint session will not be productive because of the state of the relationships of the parties). Generally, the mediation will begin with a brief joint session followed by caucuses and possible further joint sessions if they will contribute to resolving the case.


For privately scheduled mediations, all fees must be paid seven days prior to the scheduled mediation date. Click here for further information regarding private mediation fees.

If the mediation is scheduled through the Los Angeles Superior Court ADR program, no fees will be due for the first three hours of the mediation. However, because these mediations often continue for more than three hours, the parties should come to the mediation prepared to make payment in the amount of $350 per hour for every hour after the first three.




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