Mediation is a confidential, non-binding process in which a trained mediator facilitates communication between disputants and assists parties in reaching a mutually acceptable resolution of all or part of their dispute. The mediator is not the decision-maker and does not resolve the dispute -- the parties do. However, a mediator is often able to more fully explore the parties' underlying interests, needs and priorities. Mediation is a more flexible process, which is less formal and may reduce the time and costs that are often associated with a trial.
For more information, please refer to the Mediation Frequently Asked Questions.
Civil Mediation Program
The San Diego Superior Court Civil Mediation Program is designed to assist parties with the early resolution of their dispute. Parties may stipulate to mediation before or at the Case Management Conference, held approximately 150 days after filing of the complaint. The court maintains a panel of approved mediators who have met certain minimum qualifications and who are required to adhere to specific ethical standards.
Mediators on the court’s panel have agreed to charge $150 per hour for each of the first two (2) hours in a limited civil action and $250 per hour for each of the first two (2) hours of mediation in an unlimited civil action, and their regular hourly rate thereafter for court-referred mediations. Under this program, parties compensate the mediators directly, and mediations are conducted at the mediator's office unless other arrangements are made with agreement of all parties in the case. Litigants can search for a mediator.
Most civil cases are eligible for the program, with the exception of the following types of matters: probate, guardianship, conservatorship, family, juvenile, small claims, small claim appeals, unlawful detainer, class actions, and certain civil petitions. Superior Court Local Rule 2.3.2 addresses the Civil Mediation Program more specifically.
For more information about the court's mediation program, you can contact the Mediation Program Office at (619) 450-7478 or e-mail the ADR Coordinator at [email protected].
Mediator Complaint Procedure
Applications for placement on the Civil Mediation Panel are reviewed by the ADR committee on a quarterly basis.
- Review the Application to Serve as Mediator and/or Arbitrator (CIV-023) and ADR Mediator and Judicial Arbitrator Lists Policy (CIV-417) to learn more about the panel requirements;
- Submit your completed Application to Serve as Mediator and/or Arbitrator (CIV-023) along with all supporting documents to the ADR clerk in the Civil Business office.
- Successful applicants will be placed on the Court's Civil Mediation Panel after they have completed all eligibility requirements.
Already on the Court's Civil Mediation Panel?
- Annual CME Declaration must be submitted to the Mediation Program Office on or before February 1, 2024.
- A new 90-minute distance learning course regarding the Rules of Conduct for Mediators in Court-Connected Mediation Programs for Civil Cases (Cal. Rules of Ct., rules 3.865 et seq.) is now available. This 90-minute course is intended to familiarize mediators with minimum standards of conduct that may apply when mediating a case pending in a California court. Mediators on the San Diego Superior Court panel who complete the course may be eligible to claim 1.5 hours of CME self-study credit.
Interested in being on the Court's Probate Mediation List?