Tuesday, February 24, 2015
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Be a Volunteer Mediation Officer with the Alameda County Superior Court


Unlawful Detainer Mediation Training 

Many California Courts have some system for mediating eviction matters just before trial.  To date, the Alameda County Superior Court does not have such a system, but the Court is partnering with the ACBA’s Volunteer Legal Services Corporation (VLSC) to launch a pilot project in which volunteer attorneys serve as mediators in these cases.  The pilot project will track case outcomes, court resources and litigant perception of justice as a way to document the impact of mediation in cases like these. 

For the moment, the project will focus on eviction matters set for bench trial, where most of the cases involve at least one party who is not represented by counsel.  The Court is instituting a mandatory settlement conference for those matters, but there is no judicial officer available to conduct those conferences – at the moment, litigants are sent into the hall with directions to discuss settlement.  

Volunteer mediators will be assigned one or more matters from the calendar, and be provided with the court file.  Mediators will meet with the parties (and any lawyers), and attempt to work out a settlement.  If no settlement can be reached, then the case will be sent back to the initial department, and sent out for trial.

The Training
VLSC will provide a 3 hour free CLE training that will cover:
  • The basics of Unlawful Detainer (eviction) law
  • An explanation of the typical settlement terms in these cases
  • The basics of how to conduct a meditation, with particular attention on handling meditations in which one or both parties are unrepresented
  • The view from the bench

Date and Time:  
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 from 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

ACBA, 1000 Broadway, Suite 480, Oakland

3 hours of general MCLE credit

Cost:   $25 (for materials), with volunteer commitment

To Register:  
Send the registration form to Elizabeth Hom, contact information below.

Please return this form with your payment to: 
Alameda County Bar Association  |  Attn: Elizabeth Hom  |  1000 Broadway, Suite 480, Oakland, CA 94607
Fax 510-452-2224  |

Volunteer Eligibility and Commitment:
Volunteers must be attorneys admitted to and in good standing with the State Bar of California. Volunteers must have at least two years practical experience.

Those who take the training make a commitment to staff the mediation calendar at least four times in the next six months.

Volunteers must take the training before they can volunteer.  If a volunteer cannot attend the scheduled training, a video recording of the program will be available for viewing. 
Speakers :
Judge Kimberly Colwell, Superior Court of California, County of Alameda 
Judge Colwell was appointed to the bench in 2012, and is the Civil Direct Calendar Judge for one the busiest civil departments in Alameda County, managing a caseload in excess of 500 cases. Judge Colwell was formerly head of litigation for Meyers Nave, and has 25 years of trial work in state and federal courts in California. Judge Colwell also enjoys fly fishing all over the world. 

Brendan Darrow, Staff Attorney & Clinical Instructor, Housing Practice, East Bay Community Law Center
Brendan Darrow joined EBCLC in the Fall of 2010, as an Equal Justice Works Fellow in the Housing practice, focused on providing direct legal representation to tenants living in foreclosed properties. After the fellowship, Bren remains focused on representing tenants in and out of court, to preserve affordable housing, prevent blight, and ensure stable housing for tenants caught up in the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis. 

Cary Gold, Supervising Attorney, Justice & Diversity Center of The Bar Association of San Francisco
Cary has been the Supervising Attorney of the Justice & Diversity Center of The Bar Association of San Francisco’s downtown office’s Landlord/Tenant and Consumer Projects since 2006. Cary has more than 20 years of litigation experience and was in private practice handling landlord/tenant and real estate cases before coming to JDC. A trained mediator, Cary serves as a Judge Pro Tem for the San Francisco Superior Court. 

Jack W. Schwartz Jr., Senior Counsel, Burnham Brown
Jack W. Schwartz Jr. is a senior counsel at Burnham Brown and specializes in commercial and investment real estate transactions, real property lease negotiations, real estate finance and entity formations. He is a member of the Real Estate and Litigation Sections of the State Bar of California, an Executive Committee member for the ACBA Real Estate Section, and a Board of Directors member for the East Bay Rental Housing Association. 
Copyright © 2015 Alameda County Bar Association, All rights reserved.

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