What Are the Costs?

How much does it cost?

To mediate a case or to have a decision by an arbitrator is much cheaper than the rates usually charged to litigate cases. Judge Pfeuffer charges $150 per hour per party per day. This fee covers his work for a 9:00 am to 5:00 pm session, whether mediation or arbitration, and includes coffee, tea and soft drinks during the day and a sandwich tray so that the mediator and the parties may have a working lunch.

At the end of the day when the parties have successfully reached a decision on how to settle their differences, the mediator works with the attorneys to help them formulate a shorthand memorandum of agreement. The lawyers will later formalize the agreement into a binding contractual settlement to be signed by all parties, and if appropriate, submitted to the court in the form of an agreed judgment.

What the mediator does not do and should be left to the attorneys

The mediator is not to take sides in the dispute, nor is he to render legal advice to any party. This is the sole province of the attorneys. Likewise, if the mediator helps the parties arrive at a written settlement on forms furnished by him, the parties should submit these documents to their lawyers before signing.