Background

The Sacramento Superior Court began its current Civil Settlement Conference Program in 1986 with a commitment from the bench that strong efforts to settle civil cases were essential to good trial calendar management. To support the program, the Court solicited Sacramento's leading civil attorneys, asking them to sit as Pro Tem Settlement Conference Judges, pro bono. Over the years, the program has become one of the Court's most effective forms of alternative dispute resolution, resulting in the settlement of approximately 50% of the cases that complete their conferences. The Civil Settlement Conference Center is located at the Hall of Justice Building, 813 6th Street, 1st Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814.

If you are interested in being considered to sit as a Voluntary Civil Settlement Attorney, please complete the Voluntary Civil Settlement Attorney Application and mail the completed application to the Civil Settlement Conference Program, 720 Ninth Street, Department 59, Sacramento, CA 95814. Your application will be reviewed by the judicial committee and you will be notified of the status of your application.

The information below is designed to provide a quick overview of the Settlement Conference process. Parties should review Chapter 2 - Part Seven of the Court's Local Rules for a full description of the requirements for conference participants.

Conference Scheduling

Mandatory Settlement Conferences are set during the Trial Setting Process. These conferences are scheduled approximately 30 days prior to trial and are set Monday through Thursday, at either 9:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.

Parties may also agree to a Voluntary Settlement Conference. All rules that apply to Mandatory Settlement Conferences apply to voluntary conferences. Requests for a voluntary conference should be made to the Settlement Conference Clerk using the Voluntary Settlement Request Form located at the top of this page. Completed forms should be emailed to dept59@saccourt.ca.gov. Additional details regarding Voluntary Settlement Conferences can be found in the public notice, also located at the top of this page.

Settlement Conference Statement

The Settlement Conference Statement assists the voluntary Pro Tem Settlement Conference Judges and the Supervising Settlement Conference Judge to understand the details of the case prior to the conference.

Not less than ten days prior to the conference, each party must submit their Settlement Conference Statement to the Settlement Conference Clerk. The Court prefers that Settlement Conference Statements be submitted by email as a PDF attachment to dept59@saccourt.ca.gov. If unable to email, an original and one (1) copy may be submitted by mail to 720 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814 or via the drop box located on the first floor at 813 6th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.

Note: The Settlement Conference Statement does not become a part of the permanent record. The document will be received, but not filed.

Attendance

Currently, all settlement conferences will be conducted via the videoconferencing application Zoom. The Settlement Conference Clerk will email the Zoom link to all parties and counsel the week prior to your scheduled settlement conference. All persons whose consent is required to effect a binding settlement shall be present, via Zoom, at the settlement conference unless they have been excused from attendance by the Supervising Settlement Judge. A request for excuse must be made no less than seven (7) court days prior to the scheduled conference, and should include the response of all other parties to the request.

Any person who has been excused from attendance must remain immediately available by telephone throughout the conference.

Continuing a Settlement Conference

Motions to continue a settlement conference in conjunction with trial date are heard by the Presiding Judge in Department 47.

Parties may change the date and time of a settlement conference. All parties must select and agree on a date Monday through Thursday, at either 9:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. The conference date must be at least one (1) week prior to the currently scheduled trial date. Once agreed, parties should email the Settlement Conference Clerk at dept59@saccourt.ca.gov to confirm the availability of the selected date and time.