General Policies of the Court on ADR
Parties in most general civil cases are expected to participate in an ADR process before requesting a trial date and to participate in a settlement conference before trial. (Local Rule 3200)
Cases that do not resolve before the Trial Setting Conference are generally expected to participate in a Mandatory Settlement Conference approximately 30 – 60 days before trial.
Cases that do not resolve before their trial date are generally expected to participate in a day-of-trial settlement conference through the Trial Call Mediation program.
Case Management Conference
Before the Case Management Conference ALL parties must:
- “Meet and confer” to discuss ADR and make good faith efforts to stipulate (agree) to a type of ADR for the case AND
- Timely file their Case Management Statements AND
- Be prepared to discuss the timelines for ADR in the case. Consider the discovery and motions needed for a meaningful and productive ADR session. (Local Rule 3218)
Mandatory Court-Ordered ADR
The Riverside Superior Court participates in the Civil Action Mediation program (California Code of Civil Procedure, s 1775, et seq.; Local Rule 3210)
Cases eligible for orders to mediation or judicial arbitration:
General civil cases valued at $50,000 and under, including personal injury, business, contracts, collections, employment, and certain real property matters.
Cases not eligible for orders to mediation or judicial arbitration:
However, these cases may be eligible for other court- connected mediation programs. For more information, click on the case types, above.
Voluntary, Private ADR
Parties who are not ordered to mediation or judicial arbitration under Local Rule Title 3, Division 2, are expected to arrange for the voluntary, private ADR process of their choice and to notify the court of that choice at the Case Management Conference.
Parties may stipulate to voluntary, private ADR at any time. They may select mediation, binding or non-binding arbitration, neutral evaluation, another ADR process or a summary jury trial.
For mediation, options include:
The Court’s Civil Mediation Panel provides voluntary, private mediations which parties arrange without court involvement or contribution. Membership in the panel is limited to attorneys with at least five years of active California Bar membership who have met certain minimum qualifications and who are required to adhere to specific ethical standards. Panel members describe their background information and rates in Mediator Profiles, which you may search, below.
Many Panel members provide reduced-cost services, including VALUE mediations for general civil cases when the amount in dispute is under $100,000. For the VALUE Mediation Program Information Sheet, click here. To find a mediator who provides VALUE Mediations, go to the Mediator Profiles and check "Other Fee Information."
Simply contact the mediator of your choice to arrange your mediation:
In Riverside, these organizations provide free or low-cost mediation services that are partially funded by the county's Dispute Resolution Programs Act (DRPA):
CAP: Community Action Partnership, Dispute Resolution Center (external site)
DRS: Dispute Resolution Service, Riverside County Bar Association (external site)
Additionally, many private mediators and organizations offer mediation services for a fee and have websites or advertise in various publications, including the yellow pages.
For additional information, click here for the Private Mediation Information Sheet.