Cassel v. Superior Court, 2011 DJDAR 658; case no. S178914

The California Supreme Court

January 13, 2011

“Attorneys participating in mediation will not be held accountable for any incompetent or fraudulent actions during that mediation unless those actions … engender a criminal prosecution against the attorney.” The court issued this ruling in the face of policy concerns that it will induce unethical behavior.

Here, a party claimed his attorneys threatened to abandon him two weeks before trial in a trademark dispute unless he agreed to settle for $1.25 million in mediation. Because this alleged threat was during mediation, the Court ruled it was not admissible in any subsequent civil matter.

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