Mediation Center of Los Angeles Now Provides Online “Vendor Resource List” Mediations for LA Superior Court
The Mediation Center of Los Angeles (MCLA), one of three Los Angeles Superior Court Civil Mediation Resource List Vendors, provides high-quality, low-cost mediations to all civil litigants through its panel of independent qualified attorney-mediators, pursuant to specific rules and guidelines established by the Court and the MCLA.
MCLA is also the only mediation resource vendor authorized by the LA Superior Court to conduct online mediations. Although other mediation services and providers may offer online mediations, MCLA panel members have been trained and certified that they are able to properly conduct online mediations which requires new technical skills and training. Some of our panel of independent mediators are MCLA Zoom Certified – a Certified mediator has demonstrated their ability to use the Zoom platform to create separate confidential breakout rooms to conduct private and secure meetings between attorneys and their clients and the mediator who can join and leave the room as needed.
Some MCLA panel members are also available to conduct arbitrations and early case evaluations as well upon request.
Now that the civil courts have been required to substantially reduce services during the time of COVID-19, it is not advisable for anyone to conduct person to person mediations. Although some attorneys and parties are unfamiliar with Zoom videoconferencing and may be hesitant to use Zoom for their mediations, we can assure you that the online experience is quite advanced and simulates an in-office face to face experience.
Rather than having your cases hang in limbo for an unknown period, MCLA’s online service is now an excellent affordable opportunity for litigants and their counsel to resolve their cases with qualified mediators within a few weeks rather than waiting many months with uncertainty of resolution.
The mediators serving on the MCLA panel have agreed to offer “Court Resource List” mediations at reduced rates for the public good and to serve the needs of the Court litigants.
All MCLA independent mediators are lawyers with more than 10 years of good standing with the State Bar of California and have met MCLA’s rigorous eligibility requirements including extensive mediation training and significant mediation experience in differing substantive areas of law.
According to Myer Sankary, Esq., Program Director, the Mediation Center of Los Angeles was established in 2013, when the Court terminated its ADR program, as an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable corporation to educate the public about the benefits of resolving disputes through mediation and to provide high quality, affordable mediation services to the public to reduce the burden on the Courts which has a backlog of civil cases.
“We have expanded our outreach for both in-person and online mediations for the benefit of the Court and its litigants through this ‘Resource List’ program,” said Sankary “and we receive no compensation from the Court, taxpayers or the mediators for administering this program.” Sankary explained, “therefore, we require a small per-party administrative fee to provide access to dispute resolution resources in selected civil cases.”
The Mediation Center of Los Angeles also welcomes donations in support of its mission to help disputants throughout Los Angeles County to minimize or reduce legal fees and Court costs with early resolution of cases and to help reduce Court congestion and the Courts’ own overhead expenses of litigation.
The San Fernando Valley Bar Association encouraged and supported the formation of MCLA as an independent non-profit organization to educate the public and provide affordable mediation services to all citizens of Los Angeles County. MCLA’s board members include experienced mediators and past presidents of the SFVBA.
The following is an evaluation by an experienced Plaintiff’s litigator who participated in a successful Zoom mediation online that was resolved in 3 hours:
“This method of conducting mediation online is highly flexible, simple, lacks all of the usual stressors accompanied by travel and time constraints, and was altogether a seamless, enjoyable experience (to the extent mediation is enjoyable). This was a very cost-effective method of conducting mediation, it allowed everyone to feel comfortable in their own environments.”
“I would love to see online mediation made a staple of the legal industry. The ease and privacy with which I could communicate with my client was in no way impaired by our being over two thousand miles apart. If we needed more time to discuss privately, it was easy enough to request time to do so, and the platform performed well with regard to audio and video, so there was no difficulty in communicating with anyone.”
More information about the “Resource List” program is available on the Court’s website at http://www.lacourt.org/ADR.Res.List and on the Center’s website at http://www.mediationla.org/
Contact: Myer Sankary, Esq. MCLA Program Director
Wendee Berman, MCLA Program Manager
(818) 231-2965 (direct)