Mediation is a confidential, non-binding process designed to assist parties in reaching a mutually acceptable resolution of all or part of their dispute
Judicial arbitration is a binding or non-binding process that can provide parties with resolution that is earlier, faster, less formal and less expensive than a trial
Settlement conferences may either be voluntary or ordered by the court with the goal to assist the parties in negotiating a resolution of all or part of their dispute
Civil ADR / Alternative Dispute Resolution options
ADR is a process offered by the court and others to help people resolve their disputes without going to trial. By using ADR, you may not have to file a lawsuit, and if you do file a lawsuit, you may be able to avoid a trial. ADR is usually less formal, less expensive, and less time-consuming than a trial and may also give the parties more control over when and how their dispute is resolved.
The court offers a variety of ADR options including Mediation, Arbitration and Settlement Conferences, some of which are mandated by the court. To schedule a settlement conference in the Central Civil Division, refer to the list of Civil Settlement Conference Program (CSCP) judges and contact the clerk in their department.
In addition, parties may explore private ADR options outside the court system. Parties may voluntarily stipulate to private mediation, binding or non-binding, private judging outside the court or early neutral evaluation at any time. Parties may also utilize mediation services offered by programs that are partially funded by the county's Dispute Resolution Programs Act. These services are available at no cost or on a sliding scale based on need.
For more information, please refer to our ADR Frequently Asked Questions.
Mediation Services for Other Types of Cases and Disputes
- Small Claims cases (NO COST Small Claims Mediation Services)
- Civil Harassment cases (NO COST Civil Harassment Mediation Services)
- Family cases (Child Custody Recommending Counseling)
- Probate cases (wills, estates, trusts, conservatorships and guardianships)
- Department of Consumer Affairs, Local Mediation Services information