Find Mediators Near You:

An Open Letter

From the Blog of Phyllis G. Pollack.

In 1990, a California appellate court held that “absolute quasi-judicial immunity is properly extended to neutral third persons who are engaged in mediation, conciliation, evaluation or similar dispute resolution efforts.” Howard v. Drapkin (1990) 222 Cal. App. 3d 843, 851-860.( 222_cal__app__3d_843)

Recently, California Assembly Member James T. Beall, Jr. introduced AB 2475 (ab_2475 ) which would abolish such quasi-judicial immunity not only in all court ordered mediations but in those held privately, as well, It is rumored that the genesis of this draft legislation was a family law matter that went awry. That is, as rumor has it, a family law evaluator (not a mediator) submitted substantive written recommendations to the court which adopted them. The consequences were disastrous for the family who sued the evaluator but lost due to this quasi-judicial immunity.

In an attempt to correct the “problem,” Assembly Member Beall drafted this legislation which, “throws the baby out with the bath water.”

Because of the importance of this issue, I want to share with you, the letter I wrote as President of the Southern California Mediation Association to Assembly Member Beall opposing this legislation. ( letter)

As the issue affects not only mediators but parties to a dispute, (mediations are liable to become a lot less available), I urge each of you to write Assembly Member Beall and make your voice and thoughts known.

. . .Just something to think about.


Phyllis Pollack

Phyllis Pollack with PGP Mediation uses a facilitative, interest-based approach. Her preferred mediation style is facilitative in the belief that the best and most durable resolutions are those achieved by the parties themselves. The parties generally know the business issues and priorities, personalities and obstacles to a successful resolution as… MORE >

Featured Mediators

View all

Read these next


New Interview with Peter Salem – The Future of Mediation and Negotiation in Our Culture, Politics and Society

Peter Salem has been with the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) since 1994, first as the Associate Director and since 2002, as the Executive Director.  He has been...

By Peter Salem

We Are The Future of Mediation

How will the future of mediation matter if a new generation of young mediators is not encouraged and carefully shepherded into our profession? Dialogue and healthy debate about our field’s...

By Michael Aurit

Unlearning And Learning From Freud For Negotiated Solutions

This essay is inspired by Sigmund Freud’s persuasive, imaginative and enigmatic writings on mental processes and their meanings. He was the founder of psychoanalysis and is psychology's most famous author....

By Luis Miguel Diaz