Mediation Process


David Simpson conducts mediations throughout Southern California at a number of convenience locations, all with wifi, validated parking, and other amenities.

David does not schedule mediations on back-to-back days.

He does this to ensure he has plenty of time before your mediation to review briefs and/or conduct pre-mediation phone calls and plenty of time afterwards for immediate follow-up.

Pre-Mediation Phone Calls

Once a mediation is scheduled, David sets separate phone calls with each side to talk about things such as:

  • What role would you like David to play to best assist you?
  • Case background, including settlement history.
  • Key legal and factual issues, key documents.
  • Barriers to settlement, client expectations, any client control issues.
  • Litigant experience with lawsuits/mediation.
  • Time, location, logistics, and briefing preferences.
  • Things everyone can do before mediation, to get the process started.

Mediation Briefs

David has no page limits or format requirements for mediation briefs.

Submissions are due (preferably via email) at least four (4) days prior to the mediation, and earlier if sending a large volume of material.

David commits to reading everything.

David encourages parties to send him copies of both existing filings (motions, pleadings) and key case documents (contracts, policies, communications, medical reports, etc.).

Parties are encouraged (but not required) to exchange briefs.  Additional, confidential emails to David are also strongly encouraged.

Brief contents are left to the discretion of counsel.  Besides the usual topics – case summary, procedural status, key factual/legal/emotional issues, exposure/damage calculations, settlement history – David would appreciate hearing (in a separate, confidential email/submission) about some/all of the following:

  • Why hasn’t this case settled?  How do you think the other side would answer this same question?
  • What do you see as the main factual, procedural, legal, emotional, and/or practical barriers to settlement?
  • What do you think the other side expects settlement to look like?

Who Should Attend

Each side must be represented by someone in attendance with authority to make a binding decision to settle.  David recognizes, of course, that sometimes attendance via telephone is unavoidable.  If so, please raise this before the mediation so the other side is aware of it and can consent to it.  Questions about whether other persons – witnesses, employees, interested parties, family members, etc. – should or should not attend should be discussed in the pre-mediation phone calls.


All mediation proceedings are as confidential as the law permits. All attendees, including counsel, parties and all other persons, will sign a Confidentiality Agreement.

Post-Mediation Follow-Up

Many cases that don’t settle at mediation, settle afterwards because of the mediation.  David embraces this, and aggressively pursues as much post-mediation follow-up as needed.  Counsel should expect calls, emails and continued efforts from David so long as the possibility of settlement remains.