Reorganized California Rules Of Court
Rule 3.855Title 3. Civil Rules
Division 8. Alternative Dispute Resolution
Chapter 3. General Rules Relating to Mediation of Civil Cases
Article 2. Rules of Conduct for Mediators in Court-Connected Mediation Programs for Civil Cases
As amended through April 1, 2007
Rule 3.855. Impartiality, conflicts of interest, disclosure, and withdrawal.
A mediator must maintain impartiality toward all participants in the mediation process at all times.
(b) Disclosuire of matters potentially affecting impartiality
(1) A mediator must make reasonable efforts to keep informed about matters that reasonably could raise a question about his or her ability to conduct the proceedings impartially, and must disclose these matters to the parties. These matters include:
(A) Past, present, and currently expected interests, relationships, and affiliations of a personal, professional, or financial nature; and
(B) The existence of any grounds for disqualification of a judge specified in Code of Civil Procedure section 170.1.
(2) A mediator's duty to disclose is a continuing obligation, from the inception of the mediation process through its completion. Disclosures required by this rule must be made as soon as practicable after a mediator becomes aware of a matter that must be disclosed. To the extent possible, such disclosures should be made before the first mediation session, but in any event they must be made within the time required by applicable court rules or statutes.
(c) Proceeding if there are no objections or questions concerning impartiallity
Except as provided in (f) , if, after a mediator makes disclosures, no party objects to the mediator and no participant raises any question or concern about the mediator's ability to conduct the mediation impartially, the mediator may proceed.
(d) Respondiing to questions or concerns concerning impartiality
If, after a mediator makes disclosures or at any other point in the mediation process, a participant raises a question or concern about the mediator's ability to conduct the mediation impartially, the mediator must address the question or concern with the participants. Except as provided in (f) , if, after the question or concern is addressed, no party objects to the mediator, the mediator may proceed.
(e) Withdrawal or continuation upon party objection concerning impartiality
In a two-party mediation, if any party objects to the mediator after the mediator makes disclosures or discusses a participant's question or concern regarding the mediator's ability to conduct the mediation impartially, the mediator must withdraw. In a mediation in which there are more than two parties, the mediator may continue the mediation with the nonobjecting parties, provided that doing so would not violate any other provision of these rales, any law, or any local court rale or program guideline.
(f) Circumstances requiring mediator recusal despite party consent
Regardless of the consent of the parties, a mediator either must decline to serve as mediator or, if already serving, must withdraw from the mediation if:
(1) The mediator cannot maintain impartiality toward all participants in the mediation process; or
(2) Proceeding with the mediation would jeopardize the integrity of the court or of the mediation process.