Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • The fees for your matter are dependent on the hourly rate of your agreed upon neutral. The neutral charges hourly for hearing or session time plus review, preparation and deliberation time when applicable. Charges for research or drafting of rulings are rare except in complex or commercial matters unless agreed to by the parties. Hourly rates can range from $400-1,800 per hour per neutral. We also offer half day and full day rates for mediation. Rates may vary dependent on the number of parties and/or venue. Please request an individual fee schedule for each neutral you are considering. The division of fees and responsibility of each share must be agreed upon before the hearing is scheduled.

    In addition to an hourly rate, a refundable retainer will be charged for estimated additional charges including review/preparation and/or deliberation time in all arbitrations and Private Judging matters, as well as multiparty mediations or those with special circumstances such as substantial briefing or docs submitted. Judicate West (JW) charges a standard administrative and case management fee per hearing or session. These fees apply to all types of cases and hearing formats and are required regardless of the estimated time or value of the case. Please refer to our fee schedule here.

    The minimum charge will vary per neutral but all neutrals have a 3 hour minimum in addition to our Administrative and/or Case Management Fees.
  • Your administrative, hearing and any retainer fees are due upon receipt of the invoice and no later than 3 weeks prior to the hearing for matters scheduled for 1 day or less, 6 weeks prior for multiday matters, and 8 weeks prior for matters scheduled for 5 days or longer. Prompt payment is necessary to officially lock in your reserved time and date(s). Failure to pay timely may result in forfeiture of your reserved hearing date. Any additional charges post hearing are due upon receipt. Please refer to our fee schedule and payment policies here.
  • We are pleased to announce that we can accommodate Visa and Mastercard credit cards as a form of payment although our preferred method of payment is via check, ACH or wire. Click here to pay via credit card or ACH.
  • All requests for postponement / cancellation, or continuance must be in writing and copied to all parties, when fees are applicable. JW prides itself on remaining reasonable and flexible regarding this sensitive area of the industry. These fees are an important part of what makes the ADR process so successful but we DO NOT like assessing these fees. For matters scheduled for one day or less, more than 14 calendar days notice of cancellation or continuance is required or fees for the time reserved, as well as the administrative/case management fees, are non-refundable. For multiday matters, more than 30 calendar days notice is required, and for matters 5 days or longer, more than 45 days is required. The cancellation policy is indicated on your Judicate West Services Agreement. Please refer to our continuance/cancellation policy on our fee schedules at here. Please note, no charges other than administrative fees and/or case management fees will be due if JW is able to fill the vacated time and credit will be issued for partial time filled.
  • All of our offices have common areas to wait and initially meet with your client(s) and colleagues. Accommodations include comfortable meeting areas including client lounges with cable or satellite TV, private or semi-private guest workstations with computers, phones, printers, and wireless internet throughout our offices. Lunch for all guests is served daily between noon and 1:30pm. You will also find a wide array of snacks, coffee, water, juices, teas and sodas always available at each of our venues. All offices offer conference and meeting rooms with speaker phones, TV/DVD and audio visual hook-ups, easels, projector screens, light boxes, conference calling and legal research capabilities. Please call in advance to reserve the audio/visual equipment. We also have hotel, transportation, restaurant and map information available on our website for parties who may be traveling in from out of the area.
  • Yes, based on limited availability, most JW neutrals will travel to your office or any agreed upon location. Please consult a case manager for hourly minimums, travel charges and for additional information as each neutral is an independent contractor with different rates for office visits or matters handled outside their primary Judicate West location. Realistically, if the matter is not booked well in advance and for the full day, the selected neutral will likely have another matter booked in our offices and therefore unavailable to travel.
  • Yes, JW sends scheduled session notices via email to all contacted parties and anyone else on the service list that you indicate you would like us to copy.
  • The best practice is for briefs to be submitted 7 days prior to your hearing or session date if possible. Please upload your MyJW Portal or by email to
    If it is less than 7 days until your hearing or session, or if you are unsure at any time, please call us at 1-800-488-8805 or contact your case manager directly.
  • Yes, JW has a document retention policy for documents that it receives from parties to a case. Information regarding JW's document retention policy can be found here: JW Document Retention Policy.
  • Yes! Unless otherwise agreed upon, it is universally expected and very important to the process that all decision makers be present as it will increase the likelihood of a successful mediation. Also, if not given prior notice and cleared in advance, it is very possible your opposition will walk out upon learning your client is not present.
  • Yes, JW is happy to accommodate your requests and can usually arrange a room or semi-private area for you to meet both prior to and after your hearing or session. Please contact your JW venue a day or two prior to your meeting to request and verify there will be a room available.
  • We are happy to honor an indigent consumer waiver, however, please note it applies to case management fees only not the arbitrators fees. You will want to refer to CCP 1284.3 and if applicable please provide us with a declaration regarding the clients income meeting the guidelines within the code.
  • Yes, in matters other than tort claims for personal injury and wrongful death, you may forward the completed subpoena forms to your arbitrator. The arbitrator will sign and return them to you for service. In tort claims for personal injury and wrongful death, counsel may subpoena their own witnesses.
  • There is no charge for actually filing a motion with JW. The moving party should give all counsel statutory requirements for notice and our office will provide the moving party with a hearing date. Depending on the circumstances, the hearing may be live or telephonic. Unless agreed or stipulated to differently in the arbitration rules, contract or agreement, the moving party will be charged a retainer for reserved time and is responsible for any time spent by the neutral. The neutral may adjust the fees as part of the ruling as it relates to a specific motion.
  • JW is very sensitive about the timeliness of getting an award to the parties. Our objective is to have a written reasoned opinion forwarded to all parties within 30 days following the closing of record (determined by the neutral), provided all requisite fees have been paid by all parties. When circumstances prevent the final award from being concluded within 30 days, we will contact all parties to give status and do as much as possible to help with managing your client's expectations.
  • We are honored to receive many inquiries from attorneys and judges about being added to our roster as a neutral. We only add a few neutrals per year and currently are only looking to add neutrals with existing practices and/or niche areas of expertise. Please refer to our process and criteria on our website here. If you feel you are a good candidate after reviewing our criteria, please email us by using our contact form or contact any executive committee member.
  • Judicate West is a results oriented organization. Mediation is a voluntary process and requires cooperation; therefore we cannot in good conscience set a matter that is likely to fail. If all sides are not equally interested and prepared there is no justification in setting a mediation.

    In the interest of neutrality, JW will not set hearings on arbitrations and Private Judging matters unilaterally. If one party does not cooperate in the process, a court order will be needed, unless JW is listed in the contract as the governing body and all necessary attempts to gain cooperation have been implemented to no avail. Even as the governing body, we recommend a court order to expedite the process.

    Once an arbitrator is appointed, upon making the required disclosure and the passing of the statutory timelines, the arbitrator is then empowered to take any action. The arbitrator must first feel fully satisfied that no cooperation is going to be forthcoming from all other parties before they will set a date. Therefore, without a court ordered timeline, this process from start to finish is quite lengthy and frustrating for the cooperative parties.

    Further the division of fees and responsibility for each share must always be agreed upon by all parties unless ordered by the court before any hearing/session can be scheduled.