Does the Superior Court of California have inherent authority to refer civil cases to a mediation program? Well, yes and no. Mediation, by its nature, is a voluntary process. However, the court does have authority to refer certain civil cases to mediation. The systems design of a dispute resolution program incorporating court rules and procedures, the identification of appropriate referrals, the timing of the referral and mediation, and the needs of the parties is the key to implementing an effective mediation program.
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