Resources > CA Law on Mediation
Civil Action Mediation
CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE
SECTION 1775-1775.15

1775.  The Legislature finds and declares that:
   (a) The peaceful resolution of disputes in a fair, timely,
appropriate, and cost-effective manner is an essential function of
the judicial branch of state government under Article VI of the
California Constitution.
   (b) In the case of many disputes, litigation culminating in a
trial is costly, time consuming, and stressful for the parties
involved.  Many disputes can be resolved in a fair and equitable
manner through less formal processes.
   (c) Alternative processes for reducing the cost, time, and stress
of dispute resolution, such as mediation, have been effectively used
in California and elsewhere.  In appropriate cases mediation provides
parties with a simplified and economical procedure for obtaining
prompt and equitable resolution of their disputes and a greater
opportunity to participate directly in resolving these disputes.
Mediation may also assist to reduce the backlog of cases burdening
the judicial system.  It is in the public interest for mediation to
be encouraged and used where appropriate by the courts.
   (d) Mediation and similar alternative processes can have the
greatest benefit for the parties in a civil action when used early,
before substantial discovery and other litigation costs have been
incurred.  Where appropriate, participants in disputes should be
encouraged to utilize mediation and other alternatives to trial for
resolving their differences in the early stages of a civil action.
   (e) As a pilot project in Los Angeles County and in other counties
which elect to apply this title, courts should be able to refer
cases to appropriate dispute resolution processes such as judicial
arbitration and mediation as an alternative to trial, consistent with
the parties' right to obtain a trial if a dispute is not resolved
through an alternative process.
   (f) The purpose of this title is to encourage the use of
court-annexed alternative dispute resolution methods in general, and
mediation in particular.  It is estimated that the average cost to
the court for processing a civil case of the kind described in
Section 1775.3 through judgment is three thousand nine hundred
forty-three dollars ($3,943) for each judge day, and that a
substantial portion of this cost can be saved if these cases are
resolved before trial.
   The Judicial Council, through the Administrative Office of the
Courts, shall conduct a survey to determine the number of cases
resolved by alternative dispute resolution authorized by this title,
and shall estimate the resulting savings realized by the courts and
the parties.  The results of the survey shall be included in the
report submitted pursuant to Section 1775.14.  The programs
authorized by this title shall be deemed successful if they result in
estimated savings of at least two hundred fifty thousand dollars
($250,000) to the courts and corresponding savings to the parties.



1775.1.  (a) As used in this title, "mediation" means a process in
which a neutral person or persons facilitate communication between
the disputants to assist them in reaching a mutually acceptable
agreement.
   (b) Unless otherwise specified in this title or ordered by the
court, any act to be performed by a party may also be performed by
his or her counsel of record.



1775.2.  (a) This title shall apply to the courts of the County of
Los Angeles.
   (b) A court of any county, at the option of the presiding judge,
may elect whether or not to apply this title to eligible actions
filed in that court, and this title shall not apply in any court
which has not so elected.  An election under this subdivision may be
revoked by the court at any time.
   (c) Courts are authorized to apply this title to all civil actions
pending or commenced on or after January 1, 1994.



1775.3.  (a) In the courts of the County of Los Angeles and in other
courts that elect to apply this title, all at-issue civil actions in
which arbitration is otherwise required pursuant to Section 1141.11,
whether or not the action includes a prayer for equitable relief,
may be submitted to mediation by the presiding judge or the judge
designated under this title as an alternative to judicial arbitration
pursuant to Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 1141.10) of Title
3.
   (b) Any civil action otherwise within the scope of this title in
which a party to the action is a public agency or public entity may
be submitted to mediation pursuant to subdivision (a).



1775.4.  An action that has been ordered into arbitration pursuant
to Section 1141.11 or 1141.12 may not be ordered into mediation under
this title, and an action that has been ordered into mediation
pursuant to Section 1775.3 may not be ordered into arbitration
pursuant to Section 1141.11.



1775.5.  The court shall not order a case into mediation where the
amount in controversy exceeds fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).  The
determination of the amount in controversy shall be made in the same
manner as provided in Section 1141.16 and, in making this
determination, the court shall not consider the merits of questions
of liability, defenses, or comparative negligence.



1775.6.  In actions submitted to mediation pursuant to Section
1775.3, a mediator shall be selected for the action within 30 days of
its submission to mediation.  The method of selection and
qualification of the mediator shall be as the parties determine.  If
the parties are unable to agree on a mediator within 15 days of the
date of submission of the action to mediation, the court may select a
mediator pursuant to standards adopted by the Judicial Council.



1775.7.  (a) Submission of an action to mediation pursuant to this
title shall not suspend the running of the time periods specified in
Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 583.110) of Title 8 of Part 2,
except as provided in this section.
   (b) If an action is or remains submitted to mediation pursuant to
this title more than four years and six months after the plaintiff
has filed the action, then the time beginning on the date four years
and six months after the plaintiff has filed the action and ending on
the date on which a statement of nonagreement is filed pursuant to
Section 1775.9 shall not be included in computing the five-year
period specified in Section 583.310.



1775.8.  (a) The compensation of court-appointed mediators shall be
the same as the compensation of arbitrators pursuant to Section
1141.18, except that no compensation shall be paid prior to the
filing of a statement of nonagreement by the mediator pursuant to
Section 1775.9 or prior to settlement of the action by the parties.
   (b) All administrative costs of mediation, including compensation
of mediators, shall be paid in the same manner as for arbitration
pursuant to Section 1141.28.  Funds allocated for the payment of
arbitrators under the judicial arbitration program shall be equally
available for the payment of mediators under this title.




1775.9.  (a) In the event that the parties to mediation are unable
to reach a mutually acceptable agreement and any party to the
mediation wishes to terminate the mediation, then the mediator shall
file a statement of nonagreement.  This statement shall be in a form
to be developed by the Judicial Council.
   (b) Upon the filing of a statement of nonagreement, the matter
shall be calendared for trial, by court or jury, both as to law and
fact, insofar as possible, so that the trial shall be given the same
place on the active list as it had prior to mediation, or shall
receive civil priority on the next setting calendar.



1775.10.  All statements made by the parties during the mediation
shall be subject to Sections 703.5 and 1152, and Chapter 2
(commencing with Section 1115) of Division 9, of the Evidence Code.



1775.11.  Any party who participates in mediation pursuant to
Section 1775.3 shall retain the right to obtain discovery to the
extent available under the Civil Discovery Act of 1986, Article 3
(commencing with Section 2016) of Chapter 3 of Title 3 of Part 4.




1775.12.  Any reference to the mediation or the statement of
nonagreement filed pursuant to Section 1775.9 during any subsequent
trial shall constitute an irregularity in the proceedings of the
trial for the purposes of Section 657.


1775.13.  It is the intent of the Legislature that nothing in this
title be construed to preempt other current or future alternative
dispute resolution programs operating in the trial courts.



1775.14.  On or before January 1, 1998, the Judicial Council shall
submit a report to the Legislature concerning court alternative
dispute resolution programs.  This report shall include, but not be
limited to, a review of programs operated in Los Angeles County and
other courts that have elected to apply this title, and shall
examine, among other things, the effect of this title on the judicial
arbitration programs of courts that have participated in that
program.
   (b) The Judicial Council shall, by rule, require that each court
applying this title file with the Judicial Council such data as will
enable the Judicial Council to submit the report required by
subdivision (a).



1775.15.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law except the
provisions of this title, the Judicial Council shall provide by rule
for all of the following:
   (a) The procedures to be followed in submitting actions to
mediation under this act.
   (b) Coordination of the procedures and processes under this act
with those under the trial Court Delay Reduction Act, Article 5
(commencing with Section 68600) of Chapter 2 of Title 8 of the
Government Code.
   (c) Exceptions for cause from provisions of this title.  In
providing for exceptions, the Judicial Council shall take into
consideration whether the civil action might not be amenable to
mediation.



Confidentiality
CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 
SECTION 1297.371

1297.371.  When persons agree to participate in conciliation under
this title:
   (a) Evidence of anything said or of any admission made in the
course of the conciliation is not admissible in evidence, and
disclosure of any such evidence shall not be compelled, in any civil
action in which, pursuant to law, testimony may be compelled to be
given.  However, this subdivision does not limit the admissibility of
evidence if all parties participating in conciliation consent to its
disclosure.
   (b) In the event that any such evidence is offered in
contravention of this section, the arbitration tribunal or the court
shall make any order which it considers to be appropriate to deal
with the matter, including, without limitation, orders restricting
the introduction of evidence, or dismissing the case without
prejudice.
   (c) Unless the document otherwise provides, no document prepared
for the purpose of, or in the course of, or pursuant to, the
conciliation, or any copy thereof, is admissible in evidence, and
disclosure of any such document shall not be compelled, in any
arbitration or civil action in which, pursuant to law, testimony may
be compelled to be given.





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