The Contra Costa Superior Court ADR Program maintains a panel of neutrals who meet certain qualifications, and can help people settle their cases before trial.

Lists of neutrals for each process such as mediation, arbitration, etc. are available from the ADR Program office. Lists are further refined for limited or unlimited jurisdiction and for each case type such as motor vehicle personal injury or breach of contract. It is best to obtain current lists from the ADR Program office, as member availability changes.

IMPORTANT! Our panel members have agreed to provide certain ADR services at a reduced rate only when it is a court-connected case. If you contact the ADR program to set up mediation, arbitration, or neutral case evaluation of your court case, the office will send the panel member a notice of appointment. If the panel member does not have a notice of appointment from this office because it is not a court-connected case, the panel member is entitled to charge their regular fees for these services.

All ADR panel members understand and meet the training, education, and experience requirements for particular ADR panels (such as mediation, arbitration, etc.). People interested in serving on the court’s ADR panel must complete and submit all required forms, and update their panel member information as changes occur. If selected, panel members must obey all of the court's Ethical and Practice Standards listed in section seven of these rules (Local Court Rules – 3.300 and 3.301, page 68-72)

Join the Panel of Neutrals

Thank you for your interest in serving as a panelist for Contra Costa County Superior Court's Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program. The ADR program has successfully removed many civil cases from the court's trial calendar, allowing the court to hear the remaining cases without undue delay. The resulting savings in time and money and improved quality of outcomes reflect the expertise and generous contributions of our panel members.

Pursuant to Chapter 5 of the Local Rules of Court, the Contra Costa Superior Court requires that all panel members have the following minimum qualifications:

  • Mediation applicants must have completed at least 40 hours of formal mediation training from a single provider AND have mediated 5 or co-mediated at least 10 cases. Note: Satisfactory evidence of sufficient alternative education, training, skills and experience may be sufficient in some cases.
  • Judicial Arbitration applicants must be retired judges, retired court commissioners, or members of the State Bar. You must have a signed oath of office to be appointed to this panel.
  • Neutral Case Evaluation applicants must be experienced trial attorneys with expertise related to the issues in the case.
  • Settlement Mentor applicants must be experienced trial attorneys with expertise related to the issues in the case.
  • Temporary Judge applicants must be active members; have been in good standing; are current on all MCLE requirements of the State Bar for a minimum of five years immediately preceding the appointment; attend any required training provided by this court; and be familiar with publications identified in Code of Civil Procedure section 116.930. To be appointed and to serve on this panel, you must sign an oath of office each year.
Please note that there are certain restrictions regarding the minimum amount of time that must be donated to each program, and the limits on fees that can be charged.

The information you provide will be given to litigants and otherwise published as follows:

Your name will appear on lists for the case types you select;
Your resume or other background information will be made available to the public to help parties research prospective neutrals (unless you tell us otherwise); and
An abbreviated listing will be uploaded to the Internet (unless you tell us otherwise.)
Please complete the ADR Panel Member Application (Local Court Form ADR-202), and return by fax or email if you prefer, but you must return the signed original for any Oath of Office you submit. NOTE: if you are applying for panel membership pursuant to Appendix C, Local Rule 203.2, you must also complete and submit the Supplement to ADR Panel Member Application (Local Court Form ADR-202a) (fillable online). Please call if I can answer any questions, or provide more information.

Feel free to contact us if you have questions or concerns at:

Spinetta Family Law Center
Mediations and Investigations
751 Pine Street, 1st Floor
Martinez, CA 94553
Telephone: (925) 608-2075
Fax: (925) 608-2676

I look forward to working with you.

Magda Lopez
ADR Administrator

Updating Your Listing

To modify your listing, add information about your continuing education, or change the types of cases you wish to serve, please fill out this form:
Panel Member Update Sheet (Local Court Form ADR-203).

This form is fillable online. You can print it out and fax it to (925) 957-5689, or save to your computer and email as an attachment to: adrweb@contracosta.courts.ca.gov.

Continuing Education Requirements

Local Court Rules, Rule 3.201(c)(3) requires that Panel Members attend at least four hours of continuing education or training related to the practice of mediation. At least 2 hour(s) of that education or training must address ethics, fairness, and bias issues and 1 hour must address practice and ethical issues that arise when parties are not represented by an attorney in the mediation context. You must meet the continuing education requirements of this rule every three years following appointment as a mediator to the court ADR panel.

Mediation Training Requirements

If you were appointed to the panel after January 1, 2006 you must have completed an initial 40-hour comprehensive mediation training program that encompasses commonly recognized mediation principles and practices including: confidentiality, voluntary participation, communicating clearly, listening effectively, facilitating communication among all participants, promoting exploration of mutually acceptable settlement options, and conducting oneself in a neutral manner. Or, you may provide satisfactory evidence of sufficient alternative education, training, skills and experience. See Local Rule 3.201(c) for further details.

If you were appointed prior to 2006 and you have recently completed a 40 hour course you can add this information to your record by calling the ADR Program at (925) 608-2075 or send an email to adrweb@contracosta.courts.ca.gov.

IMPORTANT! Our panel members have agreed to provide certain ADR services at a reduced rate only when it is referred by a judge, or the parties have asked for ADR in a stipulation. If you go through the ADR program to set up the mediation, arbitration, or neutral case evaluation part of your court case, the office will send the panel member a Notice of Appointment. If the panel member does not have a Notice of Appointment from this office because it is not a court-connected case, the panel member is entitled to charge their regular fees for these services.