Marilyn King, Alternative Dispute Resolutions Manager, BASF
Since 2003, The Bar Association of San Francisco’s (BASF) ADR program has provided quality mediation services for matters at all stages of the dispute process, from personal and/or neighborhood disputes to contentious court cases.
First as the Voluntary Mediation Program begun in 2003, then as the Mediation Services Program launched in 2005, the program has matched hundreds of cases with qualified mediators and is proud to report a 99 percent satisfaction rate among users. The program has a settlement rate of 67 percent, and more than half the cases are filed by repeat users.
The idea took form more than a decade ago as the need for an association-sponsored program became clear. Mediation was increasingly encouraged by the courts and was becoming a common component of the civil litigation process, so people began looking to BASF for help. Members frequently called looking for a quality mediator, so the idea of BASF providing such a service was born.
During brainstorming sessions with litigators, mediators and judges, attorneys asked for panels of prescreened qualified mediators, an easy administrative process, and a good value. Mediators welcomed a respected agency to associate with, and the courts were excited by another quality ADR option for cases.
The BASF mediation panels are comprised of professional mediators with more than 30 areas of legal expertise.
The process is user friendly; the BASF website provides mediator photographs, biographies and rates, and can be searched by name or area of experience. There is one simple mediation consent form to complete, a low administration fee, and parties may request a specific mediator or ask knowledgeable BASF staff to assist. BASF mediators provide an hour of preparation and the first two hours of mediation time at no charge. The time beyond the first two hours is charged at the mediator’s hourly rate.
And finally, the service is not limited to San Francisco cases or residents, and can help either during the court process or before a filing.
The next time you are looking for a mediator, turn to BASF’s Mediation Services for professional mediators at an incredible value.
Learn more at www.sfbar.org/mediation.