Time and Duration of Mediation Sessions:
- Timing – Full-day sessions generally begin at 9:00 a.m. and continue until the mediation is completed. A light working lunch will be provided by the mediator for mediations held in her offices. Full-day sessions are scheduled to end by 5:30 pm, but the mediator will work on the case with the parties past 5:30 pm if necessary. Accordingly, the parties and their attorneys should clear their calendars for the entire day and evening.
- Fee — Available upon request. Includes pre-mediation preparation. The full-day mediation fee is split between the parties. Parties represented by the same lawyer or firm are considered one “party” for purposes of the mediation fee.
- Schedule a Mediation Session (Full Day)
- Timing – Half-day sessions generally begin at either 9:00 am or 1:30 pm and are scheduled to conclude within four hours. Typically, half-day sessions are only appropriate for very simple two-party disputes, where the issues are few in number and/or reduced by dispositive motion.
- Fee — Available upon request. Includes pre-mediation preparation. The half-day mediation fee is split between the parties. Parties represented by the same lawyer or firm are considered one “party” for purposes of the mediation fee.
- Schedule a Mediation Session (Morning 9:00 am – 1:00 pm)
- Schedule a Mediation Session (Afternoon 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm)
Review of pre-mediation submissions and pre-mediation prep
- Meaningful mediations require thorough preparation by the mediator beforehand. The full-day and half-day mediation fees include mediator preparation time.
- Sometimes the settlement of a dispute requires additional effort after the mediation session has ended. The full-day and half-day rates above include reasonable post-session follow-up by the mediator at no additional charge. If the parties wish to schedule more formal arrangements following the initial mediation session, a $300 per-hour rate will apply, to be divided equally by the parties.
- Reduced per-party fee mediations. Mediation fees are typically determined on the basis of either a full-day or half-day session, but the mediator recognizes that cases involving a large number of separate parties might be appropriate for a reduced per-party fee. If a reduced per-party fee is appropriate, it must be confirmed in writing by the mediator.
- After-hours and weekends. Circumstances sometimes make standard weekday mediations impossible. After-hours or weekend mediations may be arranged by agreement between the parties and the mediator.
- Additional services. Reasonable pre-mediation preparation time post-mediation follow-up time are already included in the basic daily and half-daily fees set forth above. Sometimes, however, in the case of complex disputes where substantial preparation or follow-up is necessary, it may be necessary for the mediator to bill additional time on an hourly basis. In such a case, the mediator will notify the parties ahead of time and her hourly rate will be $300.
- Mediation fees are split between the parties. For purposes of allocating the fee, the number of parties is calculated by counting the parties represented by the same counsel (or firm) as one party. Related parties, even those whose interests might be the same or aligned, are considered as separate parties if they have separate counsel.
- Mediation fees are considered earned at the beginning of the initial mediation session; accordingly, payment of the total fee is due within seven (7) business days of the confirmation of the Mediation Date and Fee, but no later than the beginning of the mediation session.
- Fees must be paid by: credit card, cash, cashier’s check, insurance company check or a check drawn on the bank account of a law firm. Checks should be made payable to Palter Sims Martinez PLLC. No other forms of payment will be accepted without prior written agreement of the Mediator.
Cancellation and rescheduling:
- Once a mediation has been scheduled, the parties may cancel or reschedule without penalty (in writing) up to two business days before the scheduled date. If a cancellation occurs within the two business days before the scheduled date, a cancellation fee of 50% of the daily or half-daily rate per party shall be incurred. Rescheduling within the two business days before the scheduled date will be subject to payment of any expense incurred by the Mediator due to the rescheduling (e.g. non-refundable travel expenses and cancellation/change fees, non-refundable space booking fees at a third-party location).
Travel and Other Expenses:
- If the parties agree that it makes more sense to mediate a case at a third-party location, the mediator is willing to travel to a third-party location to conduct the mediation, but travel time over one hour each way will be billed at $100 per hour.
Note: The mediator’s role is as a neutral intermediary. The mediator is not acting and cannot act as an attorney or advocate for either or any parties involved in the dispute, nor will she or can she give legal advice. Both during the mediation process and upon completion of the mediation, the parties are strongly advised to obtain legal advice and review of any mediated settlement agreement before signing it. The parties understand that they are under no obligation to enter into and/or sign a mediated settlement agreement, and that they may take any extra time desired for additional consultation with independent legal counsel regarding the legality and effect of any such agreement.