Mediation as an Alternative Dispute Resolution

We’re going to mediation this week. The parties will be the defendant, the City and County of San Francisco (CCSF) and us, the plaintiff.

r2e t4s 1905 for export to adobe Click on this link to see a map of the ranch and surrounding area.

In a perfect world, all disputes would end with mediation. In this case we’ll tell our side of the story and why our legal position is correct and the defendants will tell their side of the story and why it is legally correct. The mediator will assist us in understanding our positions and after great reflection and a little compromise from both sides, we’ll come to an agreement.

That’s how the mediation worked in our last suit, a suit for partition. In that case we had seven parties. Three of the co-owners sold their interest and four others were deeded parcels of land.

In this mediation there will be three parties, but the CCSF will only be a party to the mediation, not the court case. They were invited because they own much of the land over which we access our ranch. And, they want to purchase the parcel over which the right-of-way is disputed. CCSF always wants to minimize travel over their property and I don’t blame them for that. However, they are in a position to resolve all our access issues if they choose to.

At the end of the day of mediation we will have a pretty good idea of whether the case will be resolved or go on to court.  We have submitted our mediation brief, which tells our side of the story and the defendants have submitted their response which I read this weekend. Of course we take issues with many of their statements and legal interpretation.

The CCSF will probably have their brief done on Monday or Tuesday this week. They are the elephant in the room.

We believe we have very good legal representation. One of the biggest costs of this undertaking is the cost of educating attorneys. There is a lot of information for them to understand. At this point our attorneys are still learning about the ranch, the multiple access routes, topography and history. By the end of mediation they should be fully immersed in these topics.

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