WHAT IS MEDIATION?
Mediation is a confidential and collaborative process in which the parties attempt to reach a mutually acceptable agreement through the assistance of a neutral mediator. Mediation avoids the expense, stress and uncertainty of litigation, and allows the parties to reach an agreement that best meets their needs. Mr. Menard offers his mediation services to parties involved in disputes either during a lawsuit or prior to the filing of any legal action.
THE MEDIATION PROCESS IS CONFIDENTIAL.
The mediation process is confidential pursuant to the rules set forth in California Rule of Court 3.854, California Evidence Code sections 703.5, 1115-1128, 1152, California Code of Civil Procedure section 1775.10 and Federal Rule of Evidence 408. These statutes provide, in part, that written or oral statements made by any party, attorney, mediator or other participant during the mediation may not be used for any purpose in any pending or future legal proceeding. The mediator may not be called to testify in any proceeding by any party, and the mediator shall not testify voluntarily on behalf of any party. Written settlement agreements reached by the parties in the course of the mediation may, however, be admissible in Court under certain circumstances. At the mediation, the participants will be required to sign an agreement acknowledging these confidentiality rules.
PARTIES WITH FULL SETTLEMENT AUTHORITY MUST PERSONALLY ATTEND THE MEDIATION.
A successful mediation necessarily involves the presence and participation of all decision makers with full (as opposed to limited) settlement authority. Mr. Menard requires the personal appearance of such a person at the mediation. This requirement is consistent with California Rule of Court 3.894 and Los Angeles Superior Court Rule 12.15. All necessary arrangements must be made by counsel to have the appropriate individuals attend the mediation in person. If a person with full settlement authority is unable or unwilling to appear in person at the mediation, Mr. Menard should be advised in advance and he will determine whether the mediation should proceed. Mr. Menard may allow the participation of a party by telephone under certain limited circumstances and conditions.
Mr. Menard requests mediation briefs from the parties five days prior to the mediation. Mediation briefs should be sent to Mr. Menard by electronic mail or facsimile. The briefs should not exceed ten pages in length, and should include a summary of the relevant facts, the legal arguments at issue, the material case and/or statutory authority, the claimed damages, any prior settlement negotiations, and the party's interests and priorities regarding settlement. The parties should submit relevant documents, deposition excerpts and discovery responses with their brief or at the time of the mediation if the documents are voluminous. Mediation briefs should be exchanged between the parties. Any matter that a party wishes to disclose only to Menard which is sensitive in nature may be provided in a separate brief or writing marked "confidential".
PARTICIPATION LISTS AND ATTENDANCE SHEETS
Consistent with California Rule of Court 3.894, Mr. Menard requests that at least five days prior to the mediation each party serve a list of its mediation participants on the mediator and all other parties. This list should be sent to Mr. Menard by electronic mail or facsimile. The list should include the names of all parties, attorneys, representatives, insurance representatives, and other persons who will attend the mediation on behalf of that party. If a party subsequently determines that other persons will attend the mediation, a supplemental list should be served. In addition, the parties may be requested to complete an attendance sheet at the mediation in compliance with California Rule of Court 3.860, if applicable.
Mr. Menard is flexible during the mediation process, adapting to the particular circumstances involved in each matter including the nature of the case, and the personalities and desires of the parties. Given his extensive litigation background, Mr. Menard will typically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s case in an effort to facilitate a settlement. He will use his interpersonal and negotiation skills to problem solve with the parties by offering practical, sound solutions to disputes. In most cases, Mr. Menard will caucus with each side privately throughout the mediation in an attempt to resolve the dispute. The parties may, however, be called together in a joint session either at the beginning of the mediation or any time thereafter depending on the circumstances of the case if such a session will facilitate a settlement. If the parties reach a settlement, it will be memorialized in a written agreement signed by the parties at the mediation.
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