RULES AND POLICIES FOR PARTIES TO MEDIATION
1. Center Purpose. The purpose of the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (“C.A.R.”) Real Estate Mediation Center for Consumers (the “Center”) is to provide parties to real estate transactions with a highly qualified pool of specially trained, objective and reliable mediation professionals to assist them in resolving real estate related disputes. The goal of the Center is to provide consumers with a supportive and confidential process to work with a mediator toward reaching a mutually agreeable settlement and thereby avoid the time, expense and uncertainty of litigating their dispute in court.
2. Cases Eligible for Mediation. All real estate disputes, with a focus on real estate disputes among consumers arising under the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Residential Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions (“RPA-CA”). In addition, the Center may consider and accept other types of disputes on a case-by-case basis.
3. Center Contacts. All correspondence with the Center should be directed in writing to:
Mail to: C.A.R. Real Estate Mediation Center
Attn: Mediation Administrator
525 S. Virgil Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90020
4. Costs and Fees. Center mediators are required to keep their mediation fee schedule and any associated policies up-to-date at all times with the Center. Parties will be provided mediator fee and policy schedules in advance of selecting their mediator.
a. Filing Costs. The $200 filing cost is paid directly to the Center and is non-refundable. Filing costs must be received with your Request to Mediate in order to begin the process. Fees to the mediator are separate and paid directly to the mediator as provided below.
b. No Fees for Preparation. In general, Center mediators agree to provide travel time, brief review, and preparation time on a pro bono basis (without charge). For complex disputes or disputes that require extensive review of documents in advance of the mediation, preparation fees may apply and in such case you will be notified by your mediator prior to scheduling the mediation.
c. Initial Hourly Fees to Parties. Center mediators agree to a maximum collective fee to the parties of $150.00 per hour for the first 2 hours of hearing time. Parties commit to a minimum of 3 hours of hearing time. Hourly fees after the first 2 hours are at the rate provided in the mediator’s fee and policy schedule that will be provided to the parties prior to selecting the mediator. All mediator fees are paid directly to the mediator.
d. Fee Deposit. Center mediators generally require a minimum deposit equal to 3 hours prior to scheduling the mediation. See the mediator fee schedule for actual requirements by visiting www.car.org/mediation/consumers/mediator-fees.
e. Cancellation/Continuance Fees. Mediators may charge cancellation/continuance fees as follows: if notice is received 4 calendar days or more prior to the scheduled mediation, $200 cancellation/continuance fee. If notice is received 3 calendar days or less prior to the scheduled mediation, $500 cancellation/continuance fee. Your mediator may apply cancellation/continuance fees to any deposit.
Conflicts Check. Center mediators are required to perform a conflict of interest check in connection with all mediation participants to determine matters potentially affecting their impartiality. Prior to proceeding with the mediation, the mediator must obtain the prior written consent of all mediation participants for any waiver of a conflict of interest.
6. Scheduling Process and Timeframes. Once your file has been accepted by your mediator, your mediator will begin the process of contacting all parties, counsel and other interested parties who you have identified to participate in the mediation to schedule the mediation. Your mediator will generally have twenty (20) calendar days from the date your mediator accepts your file for the scheduling process. If your mediator is unable to schedule the mediation within this time frame, the mediator may submit a request to the Center requesting a one-time thirty (30) day extension. All scheduling is performed by your mediator and any scheduling matters should be made directly with your mediator. Once scheduled, any request to cancel or continue the mediation will incur an associated fee. See Costs and Fees above.
7. Notice to the Parties. Once the mediation has been scheduled, the mediator will provide written notice to the parties of the details of the mediation and mediation process.
8. Post Mediation Survey. Following the mediation, you will be contacted by email to request that you complete a survey about the mediation process. The Center will maintain your survey responses as confidential and use this information solely to evaluate the Center program and distribute general statistical data related to the Center program (in the aggregate without disclosure of confidential identifying data).