EXPERT REAL ESTATE DISPUTE RESOLUTION AT AFFORDABLE RATES
Two party real estate mediations are $449 per side ($898 total) – see full pricing information below
ALL MEDIATIONS ARE CURRENTLY “VIRTUAL”, FACILITATED VIA ZOOM
To schedule a real estate mediation, fill out our on-line intake form, call (949-478-1623) or email (email@example.com). Once we obtain all parties’ names and contact information, we will swiftly perform a conflict check and schedule your mediation. Available mediation dates can be seen here: View Mediation Availability Calendar Here.
Devin Lucas is a real estate Mediator for voluntary dispute resolution (“mediation” aka “alternative dispute resolution” or “ADR”) – often required pursuant to real estate purchase and lease agreements prior to filing a lawsuit or arbitration claim, such as the mediation requirement found in the California Association of REALTORS® Residential Purchase Agreement (“RPA”). Mr. Lucas’ extensive legal background, including trial and appellate experience, and active work as a real estate broker, provides mediation parties with distinctive insight and a unique ability to work with parties in all forms of discord. Read Mr. Lucas full bio here.
Mr. Lucas is also on the panel of real estate mediators via the California Association of REALTORS® Real Estate Mediation Center for Consumers. To learn more or to schedule a mediation directly through that organization, click here. (note – pricing is slightly different via the Center, contact the Center directly for current information.)
WHAT IS MEDIATION / HOW DOES IT WORK
“Mediation” is a process in which a neutral third-party, i.e. Mr. Lucas, facilitates communication between the disputants to assist them in reaching a mutually acceptable agreement. Mediation is confidential and informal compared to court proceedings. If no mutually agreeable resolution is achieved at mediation, the parties are free to pursue their otherwise available remedies, generally a lawsuit, arbitration or administrative action. Any dispute can be mediated and resolutions are not always monetary. Mediations are generally three hours; additional time and/or daily rates available. See below for full pricing information.
Review this article (link here), and/or watch the below video, for additional information on mediation and compliance with the The California Association Of Realtors® Residential Purchase Agreement (“RPA”) requirement for pre-litigation mediation.
(Watch our detailed video explaining the mediation process)
TYPES OF REAL ESTATE DISPUTES MEDIATED
Any dispute can benefit from mediation; Our office, Mr. Lucas, exclusively handles real estate mediations. There is no limit to the type of dispute that can arise in real estate. Some general categories of frequent disputes we mediate include:
- Non-disclosure and fraud contentions
- Deposits and cancelations, including initial earnest money deposit disputes / release of deposits / cancelations / liquidated damages clauses
- Cancelation surrounding coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Landlord-tenant disputes, security deposit disputes, mold and habitability claims
- Boundary, fence and tree disputes
- Neighbor disputes
- Construction disputes
- Homeowners Association (HOA) matters
- Commission and fee disputes between parties and their REALTORS®
- REALTOR® to REALTOR® (or brokerage to brokerage) disputes, including commissions, procuring cause and the like
Mr. Lucas typically places each party in their own private virtual conference room (using Google Meet, an easy yet professional video conferencing program), introduces himself and goes over basic preliminary information. Mr. Lucas will do this for each party; thus the other party is ‘dark’ for some periods of time. While Mr. Lucas is away, you can speak privately and securely with any other members of your “side” (perhaps attorney, etc.). Mr. Lucas will then come back in, just as if going between two physical conference rooms.
Mr. Lucas will discuss the details of the dispute with each party and eventually discuss solutions and resolution options, going back and forth as needed. If a resolution is achieved, a pre-made template settlement agreement is provided, completed and signed online, using electronic signature program (and trusted industry leader) Docusign.
Please review the article and/or video above for additional information on the process.
IN-PERSON AND VIRTUAL, VIDEO CONFERENCING AND TELECONFERENCING
In-person attendance was always preferential, but extenuating circumstances have altered in-person meetings for the foreseeable future. While our office is open, various comfort levels and convenience indicate we will be online, virtual, over video conference for the foreseeable future.
Each party will be provided their own secure video (and/or dial-in) conference with the mediator, one-on-one.
We use Zoom. Zoom is easy. You will be provided an email with a secure link to your conference. Parties and their counsel can appear from the same, or multiple locations. There is no limit on the number of locations and connections.
COSTS / AFFORDABLE REAL ESTATE MEDIATION RATES
We believe mediation should be an affordable process, given the whole point is to avoid costly litigation. Too often mediations can become costly endeavors with mediators charing thousands of dollars per party, on-top of legal and other expenses. This can be disadvantageous to the cost-effective nature and purpose of an early mediation, especially those required by the RPA and especially in any disputes where the amount in controversy can be significant to the parties, but generally not warranting hefty litigation expenses to fight over (i.e. mediations surrounding disputes of $25,000 or less are especially warranting low cost mediation services). We provide the same high caliber services and an exceptionally well qualified mediator for a fraction of the cost of other providers.
– Two Party Mediations are $898 total (generally split 50/50, i.e. $449 per side, such as a buyer and a seller). Two Party Mediations are three hours, plus Mr. Lucas will review any briefs or materials sent in advance.
– There is no upfront fee and no deposit is required to schedule. Full payment is due two weeks prior to the mediation (with some exceptions for rush scheduling, etc.).
– Three or more parties (i.e. a buyer and a seller and the seller’s broker) requires a four hour mediation to allow sufficient time to converse with all parties, $1,200 total.
– Additional time (beyond the initial three or four hour allotment) is billed at $325 per hour in the same pro rata share as the initial fee, unless otherwise agreed by the parties.
CANCELATION AND RESCHEDULING POLICY
Two (2) weeks, or more, prior to the meditation = no cancelation or rescheduling fee. Between one (1) week and three (3) calendar days prior to the meditation = $100 cancelation or rescheduling fee. Two (2) calendar days, or less, prior to the meditation = $300 cancelation or rescheduling fee.
DO YOU NEED AN ATTORNEY FOR MEDIATION?
Maybe. The complexity of your dispute and amount in controversy will govern this decision. Legal advice (even if not formal representation) is always recommended prior to attending mediation and embarking on a legal dispute. If you choose not to hire an attorney, Mr. Lucas excels at working with unrepresented parties towards resolution, taking the time to listen to their matter, explain the potential outcomes and allow the parties to reach their own determination as to the value of resolution vs. proceeding with litigation. Many of the cases we resolve are with unrepresented parties. If a resolution is achieved (represented or unrepresented), we have template settlement agreements available to use and can swiftly obtain electronic signatures to have a binding resolution at the conclusion of your mediation.
LOCATION AND FACILITIES
(See above re virtual, video and teleconferencing options)
Our spacious Newport Beach bay-view conference rooms are as relaxing as the process can be. Separate spacious Newport Beach bay-view conference rooms are provided, one for each party, with complimentary coffee, water and Wi-Fi. Daily parking rates do apply.
(click here for additional information on parking, including parking maps, directions and parking rates)
HOW TO START THE PROCESS
Mediation generally starts with one party sending a “demand for mediation”, which can be a letter simply outlining the parties involved, a brief nature of the dispute, the proposed Mediator(s) and a reasonable deadline to respond. Then the parties agree on a Mediator, and the Mediator generally sets a schedule.
Review this article (link here to review key article on mediation requirements) for additional information on mediation and compliance with the The California Association Of Realtors® Residential Purchase Agreement (“RPA”) requirement for pre-litigation mediation.
To schedule a mediation, fill out our on-line intake form, or call or email our office, firstname.lastname@example.org. Once we obtain all parties’ names and contact information, we will swiftly perform a conflict check and thereafter send out formal notice with additional information, available dates, invoice and payment links.
– View Mediation Availability Calendar Here –
Our office can assist with this process and coordinate the mediation.
email@example.com | 949.478.1623 office | 888.667.6038 fax