Logistics and fees
John’s appellate mediation practice is statewide. Most of his appellate mediations take place via Zoom, although in-person sessions are also possible.
Zoom mediation benefits
During the pandemic, mediations using Zoom and similar video conferencing platforms grew out of necessity. But they remained popular even after the pandemic eased.
Mediations via Zoom can be very effective. They can replicate the essence of an in-person mediation, with “virtual breakout rooms” for each side and other caucusing and a “room” for joint sessions. The task of the mediator is to ensure the settlement dynamic that can build when everyone is in the same building is carried over into the virtual arena.
Although Zoom mediations grew out of necessity, they do have advantages. They can be easier to arrange, and less costly and burdensome if they avoid the need for travel. Sometimes, parties are more comfortable taking part from their home or office. And this can help keep everyone engaged in the process and willing to stay the course. So many people have come to prefer Zoom mediations to the traditional variety.
Fees for Zoom appellate mediations
John tries to set his fees at a level to make his services available to as wide a range of litigants as possible. Prevailing local rates differ widely across the state, but — rather than offer a multiplicity of rates outside his home county for providing the same service — he offers standard statewide rates for Zoom appellate mediations that offer good value everywhere:
- Hourly rate on the day: John’s statewide hourly rate for appellate mediations via Zoom is $500, with a four-hour minimum.
- Preparation included: Preparation is very important, but John builds this into his hourly rate for actual mediation time on the day and does not charge extra. This includes reading mediation briefs and having pre-mediation phone conferences. The same goes for reasonable amounts of follow-up.
- No extra charges: There are no extra charges, such as administration fees.
- Cancellation and rescheduling policy: Things happen. No one should mediate if they are not feeling up to it. So John does not charge cancellation or rescheduling fees. He asks only that parties do not take unreasonable advantage of this.
- Payment terms: Unless otherwise agreed, fees are split between the parties. Advance payment of the four-hour minimum charge is appreciated and may be required for new clients. Any excess is billed subsequently. Deposits are refundable if the mediation is cancelled and not rescheduled
Rates for in-person appellate mediations
These vary depending on venue.