Settlement Conference

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Settlement Conference in California

A. Mandatory Settlement Conference. A mandatory settlement conference
shall be held in all cases where a jury trial has been demanded. The date for the
settlement conference shall be assigned at a status conference.
B. Settlement Conference Statement. Counsel shall lodge an original and two
copies of a settlement conference statement in the Calendar Department, some
court days before the settlement conference so that the statements can be distributed to
the settlement panelists. The court will impose sanctions of $49 per day for statements
lodged less than five court days before the settlement conference. The date and time of
the settlement conference and trial shall be typed on the face sheet of the statement. The
settlement conference statement shall include the following, where applicable:
1. A brief statement of the case. For example: “This is a personal injury
action arising out of a rear-end collision on January 1, 2003 at 4th and B Street in
San Francisco.”
2. A statement of facts including:
a. Factual and legal contentions in dispute;
b. Citations of authorities which support legal propositions;
3. List of all special damages claimed, including corroborating evidence;
4. Pertinent excerpts of medical reports, depositions, photographs, and
records with material portions highlighted on all copies submitted;
5. The highest previous offer and lowest previous demand, and a current
offer or demand;
6. The date when the last face-to-face settlement discussion was held;
7. Presentation of any special barriers to settlement.
C. Required Attendance. Attendance at settlement conferences by counsel
completely familiar with the case is required. Counsel must be accompanied by his/her
client and, where third party payors are involved, someone with the final authority to
settle the case. Exceptions to this rule require advance written approval by the Court.
D. Sanctions. Failure of an attorney and/or party to prepare for, appear at, or
participate in a settlement conference, unless good cause is shown for any such failure, is
an unlawful interference with the proceedings of the Court, and the Court may impose
sanctions, including but not limited to, any and/or all of the following: monetary
sanctions to be paid to the Clerk of the Court; monetary sanction to be paid to other
parties which may include, among other things, costs, actual expenses and counsel fees;
and the Court may order an appropriate change in the calendar status of the action.

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