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Litigation vs. Mediation...Something to Think About


One of the biggest topics of discussion this year is how the budget cuts will affect the courts and which of those cuts will have the largest impact.  Last Saturday I attended the Los Angeles County Forum of Legal Secretaries, hosted by the San Gabriel Valley Legal Secretaries Association, to hear Presiding Judge Rex Heeseman talk about budget cuts and their impact. Judge Hessemen is one of the many judges that have been affected by the cuts.  As of July 1, 2012 his courtroom became a settlement courtroom.  


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During his talk he mentioned that the Los Angeles Superior Court will have many changes with some coming rapidly. He asked everyone to expect that the litigation process will take longer since there are fewer employees to answer phones, calendar motions and process filings.  He stated that this will be the “new normal”.  To view the civil operations changes at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Los Angeles, click here.

Judge Heeseman said that one option is to consider mediation as it could relieve headaches and long wait times. The judge also mentioned the benefits of taking the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) route:

- Highly cost effective

- Shorter time for disposition

- Quicker results

- More control in the outcome

- Smaller court filing fees

What is going to happen in the future? We’re not sure.  However the Los Angeles Superior Court is making every effort to streamline the litigation process.  Of course that will take some time. In the interim, there are options available. To learn more visit the Los Angeles Superior Court website.


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