Welcome to The Mediation Society

Who We Are

The Mediation Society is a non-profit organization based in Northern California that is composed of trained and experienced mediators who meet regularly to share information, develop mediation skills and techniques, and enjoy an atmosphere of fellowship among peers. To this end, the Society sponsors dinners, round tables and workshops in San Francisco featuring leading local, national and international speakers and subjects in the field of mediation. Membership in the Society and participation in its activities are intended to further the advancement of the practice of mediation, both locally and nationally, and to foster an appreciation for mediation as a valuable form of alternative dispute resolution.


Mediator's Corner

Mediator's Corner Archives

John Warnlof

THE PRE­MEDIATION CONFERENCE: AN UNDERUSED STEP TOWARDS RESOLUTION by John Warnlof

Most civil disputes settle before trial. Mediation, whether private or court connected, is the most frequently used method in reaching resolution. Use of a pre-mediation conference is an effective first step towards such resolution. This Article considers mediation from the advocate’s perspective.

Although the matters to be discussed at a pre­mediation conference are unlimited and any relevant issue may be brought to the mediator’s attention, the following subjects are invariably addressed.

∙ Nature of the Dispute
∙ Decision Makers
∙ Exchange of Information
∙ Impediments to Settlement
∙ Settlement Status
∙ Exchange of Mediation Statements
∙ Self ­Represented Litigants


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* As a neutral, 40 percent of the time spent in mediation of real estate transactions, construction defect disputes and personal injuries, 40 percent in arbitration of commercial, construction and personal injury disputes, and 20 percent as a hearing officer deciding applications of disability retirement of public employees. As an attorney, 25 percent of time spent in construction litigation and 25 percent in real property litigation, 25 percent in business litigation and 25 percent with transactional matters. Prior experience includes 36 years in construction, real property, personal injury, commercial, professional negligence litigation, fire loss claims and insurance coverage disputes. Lecturer for Hastings College of Law, Golden Gate University, California Continuing Education of the Bar, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association and California Trial Lawyers Association.