San Diego Law Review

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This Article explores several pioneering efforts to settle the last frontier of alternative dispute resolution (ADR): the American appellate judicial process. It begins is Part II with a description of California's historical flirtation with appellate mediation. The effort has blossomed into an enduring relationship producing several permanent, and mature, appellate mediation programs, including in the First District where the Author's own court is located. Part II also discussed the programs implemented by these California sibs, not only to highlight their commonality, but also to illuminate differences. These similarities and differences become important when a critical gaze is cast at the performance results of these California appellate mediation programs. Part III looks at the most developed appellate mediation programs in other jurisdictions, including one in the federal court system. Part IV discusses the perceived advantages of the most important and common programmatic features. These include making participation in court-sponsored appellate mediation mandatory, diverting cases into mediation before briefing, using dedicated, experienced staff to manage the court's program, relying on trained, experienced mediators, and using case selection criteria rather than relying on random case selections. The Article goes on intrepidly to offer conclusions about what types of appeals seem to settle most often, and why. Part IV concludes with a short discourse on the future of appellate mediation for the American system of appellate justice.

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