INFORMATION FOR CLIENTS OF PACIFIC COAST MEDIATION

Avoidance of litigation/Litigation settlement

  • Have your perspective heard
  • Resolve conflict
  • Save relationships and solve problems
  • You Decide; keep control of process
  • Court is time consuming and expensive
  • Sensitive alternative to litigation
  • Faster resolution when in litigation
  • Fair distribution of life's worth and sentimental items

Estate Planning

  • Communicate your wishes with loved ones
  • Have your decisions honored and understood
  • Implement purposeful charitable decisions
  • Tax effective strategies
  • Chance for others to say "Thank you"

WHAT MAKES PCM UNIQUE?

NO LITIGATION: We only mediate and never litigate at Pacific Coast Mediation. This allows our focus to always remain on communication and settlement.
TEAM MEDIATION: We are one of just a few mediation practices that always co-mediates. All our clients receive an attorney and non-attorney mediator for their process. Our clients appreciate this unique and balanced perspective.
NO HIDDEN COSTS: By offering all-inclusive packages we ensure transparency in our fees. You choose the package that meets your individual needs. No billable hours therefore no surprise billing at the end.

HOW DOES MEDIATION WORK?

MEDIATION
Mediation sessions are informal but structured discussions facilitated by the mediators. All parties will have an opportunity to discuss their perspective on the issues. The mediators structure the discussion to help clarify the issues and move toward an agreement. PCM focuses on the future.
YOU DECIDE
The mediators do not decide the outcome, but help the parties reach their own agreement on all issues of estate planning and dispute resolution. Mediation is a way of achieving results while preserving, and at times even enhancing, the relationship of the parties.
PRIVACY
All parties will meet in our office to discuss all the issues that need to be resolved (not in the public court room). Your discussions regarding the issues that are personal and private (such as your money, care as you age, funeral wishes, choosing of beneficiaries etc.) are simply discussed at the mediation table with the mediators and not in the public arena of the court room.
AGREEMENT
An agreement is reached when all parties are satisfied with all of the terms. You know your unique needs, wants and relationships better than we do. PCM is not the decision maker, you are. We will support you, facilitate the conversations on the issues that need to be decided, give you legal information (not legal advice) and draft a memorandum of settlement for clients settling or avoiding litigation.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE MEDIATORS?

The role of the mediators is to:

  • Facilitate a process that assists the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable solution
  • Help parties communicate productively on difficult issues in order to stay future focused
  • Help in generating options/brainstorming possibilities for resolving issues between the parties
  • Ensure that the mediation process stays balanced and all parties get to discuss their wants and needs from their perspective
  • When appropriate assist in crafting terms of the Memorandum of Settlement agreement that is consistent with the principles of justice and fairness
  • If you request, the mediators will give you an assessment of your case and likelihood of success at trial
  • Capture and outline your wishes when drafting your Estate Planning documents

Pacific Coast Mediation will provide all parties with current, relevant legal INFORMATION in California but will not advise the clients or make judgments on their behalf about what they should do with the legal information. The difference between providing legal information verse legal advice is that our attorney mediators can tell parties what the law says but not how they should use that information for their benefit because the mediator does NOT represent any one party.

WHAT ISSUES CAN BE RESOLVED IN MEDIATION?

There are many issues that can be resolved in estate planning and estate administration mediation, including:
1. Estate planning

  • Agreement on Elder care (doctor appointments, medication management, medical needs and treatment, paying of medical and all bills, housing options, hospice care wishes)
  • Major life decisions (funeral directives, charitable donations, division and management of assets, choosing beneficiaries, care of pets)
  • Trustee responsibilities (guide the process and all relationships involved with the trustee)
  • Appointment of Guardianships (who will take care of your children)
  • Outlining your wishes to be used when drafting your legal documents

2. Avoidance of litigation & litigation settlement:

  • Facilitating discussions with all involved parties either prior to or during litigation
  • creditors, care givers, charities, beneficiaries, administration of estate disputes

3. Charitable mediation:

  • Initiate introductions to charities and aid discussions regarding philanthropic wishes
  • Work in partnership with your attorney, all beneficiaries including children, charities etc

WILL PACIFIC COAST MEDIATION PREPARE OR ASSIST IN PREPARING THE LEGAL DOCUMENTS?

When it is appropriate, the mediators will assist you in the preparation of a Memorandum of Settlement. The mediators will NOT provide legal advice, but will provide legal information. Pacific Coast Mediation offers a package rate and if you use our mediation services for trust and estate planning you will receive a reduced fee for estate planning services with a attorney unaffiliated with PCM who provides services to our clients at a reduced rate.

WHY CHOOSE MEDIATION IF I ALREADY HAVE AN ATTORNEY?

ESTATE PLANNING & CHARITY MEDIATION

The attorney represents only the benefactor not the beneficiaries. Often times value is added by having all parties at the table. Since mediation is your unique and flexible process your may choose to include other family members, charities, or experts in your discussion. People are more likely to honor your wishes if they are included in this collaborative process because they will fully understand your desire/wishes. By creating an Estate Plan through mediation we can help minimize the potential for disputes down the road by explaining your intent now.

AVOIDANCE OF LITIGATION & LITIGATION SETTLEMENT

Mediation allows for clients who are in the process or litigation or hoping to avoid litigation to save time, money and emotional stress by creating an agreement all can follow through on.

The majority of lawsuits settle. The numbers vary, but it is somewhere between 94 and 98 percent of all cases settle before trial. At some point during your case, the judge will push you and the other parties to mediate your dispute. Also, even though a judge cannot order mediation, they can order a Mandatory Settlement Conference, which you find yourself at later down the road after you have already spent thousands in litigation fees.

WHAT IF I DON'T HAVE AN ATTORNEY YET?

To fully support our clients we offer an all-inclusive package which includes mediation at PCM as well as completed estate planning documents (ie. trusts, wills, health care directives) prepared by an independent law firm.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO SCHEDULE MEDIATION?

After all parties agree they want to use mediation for their process the first session can be scheduled within two weeks. We offer afternoon and evening appointments to try and meet the needs of our clients who need appointment times for after work.

HOW MUCH DOES MEDIATION COST?

Our fees are All-Inclusive. We do not have billable hours. We want to encourage ongoing communication throughout this process without the fear of receiving additional billable hours. You simply choose the package that meets your individual needs and that is the total fee you pay. This allows our clients to be able to know exactly how much to budget for. We understand this process and decision making can be difficult so we have structured our fees as all inclusive so clients know what to budget for. All of our packages include:

  • All emails to and from case manager at PCM
  • All scheduling of appointments with case manager
  • All phone calls
  • Faxes and photocopies
  • Billing and invoices
  • All preparation for mediation (typically takes about 4 hours of prep time for the mediators but you are not charged for any additional time needed above the typical 4 hours)
  • Mediation session hours (for the amount you choose in your package)
  • Drafting of a memorandum of settlement, when appropriate
  • Notary fee, when needed

Package A: Includes all the above plus up 4 hour of mediation session with attorney mediator and non-attorney mediator.

Package B: Includes all the above plus up to 8 hours of mediation sessions with attorney mediator and non-attorney mediator.

Package C: Includes all the above plus up to 12 hours of mediation with attorney and non-attorney mediator. These 12 hours of mediation time can be broken up into small time frame if preferred.

*All of the above packages can add preparation of all legal documents by an independent law firm at reduced rate. PCM will gather the required information at your intake and if you want/require preparation of any legal documents (such as trust, will, health care directive etc.) you will receive a reduced attorney fee for drafting and filing of all estate planning with a separate law firm that we have negotiated a reduced rate for our clients. This allows for a one stop process (mediation to get all agreements and wishes outlined and preparation and filing of legal documents).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION OR TO SCHEDULE YOUR FREE CONSULTATION:

Email: info@pacificcoastmediation.com or call: 858-750-1634