Wacker Mediation LLC - Rick Wacker's Fees



Hourly Rate:

An hourly rate of $175.00 per hour will be charged for Domestic Relations mediation and an hourly rate of $225.00 per hour will be charged for Civil Mediation. This will apply to time spent preparing for a mediation, time at the mediation session(s), and time spent following mediation. Prior to and during a mediation session, this may include the preparation of documents for the parties’ signatures, conversations with the parties or their counsel, and review of documents provided by the parties. Following a mediation, some amount of time is typically spent in conversation with or corresponding to the parties or their counsel, drafting agreements for review by counsel, and preparing motions, reports, or correspondence to the Court. A minimum charge of one-quarter hour will be billed for phone calls or correspondence with the parties and after the first 15 minutes, time will be rounded, either up or down, to the nearest quarter-hour. Payment is due at the end of each mediation session and unless other arrangements have been agreed upon between the parties, it is assumed that each party will be paying half of the fees due.

Administrative Fee:

A one-time, non-refundable administrative Fee of $100.00 will be charged for the time spent setting up the mediation file, distributing initial documents, scheduling sessions, and for secretarial assistance, office overhead, and performing a conflict of interests review. This charge is not refundable, even if a mediation session is not held.

Sessions:

Domestic Relations mediations are scheduled as minimum two-hour sessions at an hourly rate of $175.00 per hour.

Civil mediations are scheduled either as half-day (4 hour) or whole day (8 hour) sessions at an hourly rate of $225.00 per hour.

If neither the parties nor their attorneys can provide suitable office space for the mediation, then the cost of renting a location for the mediation will be billed as an additional expense to the parties. Miscellaneous expenses at such a location, such as telephone, copying, and other similar expenses exceeding $25.00 are payable by the party incurring such expenses.

Scheduling a mediation:

To schedule a mediation, payment of the Administrative Fee and the Minimum Session Charge must be received. If payment has not been received at least 3 business days prior to the scheduled mediation, except in unusual circumstances, the scheduled mediation will, at the option of the Mediator, be postponed or rescheduled until payment has been received. To avoid postponing a scheduled mediation, the mediator may require the parties to bring a certified check or money order for the Administrative Fee and the Minimum Session Charge to the mediation. If your mediation has not been cancelled or rescheduled, your payment of the Minimum Session Charge will be applied to the last 2 hours of your final Domestic Relations mediation or to the last 3 hours of your final Civil mediation session. Unless other arrangements have been made in advance, payment is expected at the conclusion of each mediation session for the time spent by the mediator in that session.

Minimum Session Charge:

A minimum charge of $350.00 (2 hours at the hourly rate) will be billed for a Domestic Relations mediation session, even if the mediation ends or is terminated prior to the end of the 2-hour period. A minimum charge of $675.00 (3 hours at the hourly rate) will be billed for a Civil mediation session, even if the mediation ends or is terminated prior to the end of the 3-hour period.

Cancellation or Rescheduling of a Mediation Session:

If a mediation session is cancelled or rescheduled less than 3 business days before a scheduled mediation, the Minimum Session Charge will be forfeited, unless another mediation can be scheduled to fill the time that has been reserved for your mediation. If your appointment is rescheduled more than 3 business days before your scheduled appointment, your payment will be credited to your next mediation session, if the mediation can be scheduled to be held within 3 months of the original appointment. After 3 months, your payment of the Minimum Session Charge is forfeited. The Minimum Session Charge is not refundable.

In the event that an emergency such as sickness or weather problems beyond the control of the parties causes a mediation to be cancelled or rescheduled less than 3 days before the scheduled mediation, the Minimum Session Charge will not be forfeited, although if the mediation is not rescheduled for a date within 30 days of such occurrence, then, absent exceptional circumstances, the Minimum Session Charge will be forfeited. If a party fails to appear at a scheduled mediation and such absence is not caused by sickness, weather problems, or other circumstances beyond that person's control, then that party will be responsible for paying the fee for that session without contribution by the other party.

It will always be assumed that if a mediation or ADR session is canceled, the parties are dividing the fee equally. If other arrangements are made between the parties, such should be communicated to the mediator at the time the matter is canceled or rescheduled. It is the responsibility of counsel to resolve any such complaints by working together or by making an appropriate Motion to the Court.

If payment is not made by the parties when due, the mediator may stop all work on behalf of the parties, including scheduling future sessions with the parties or the drafting or distribution of the parties’ agreement and withdraw from the mediation.

Billable time for the mediator begins at the time your mediation session is scheduled to begin. The mediator will be prepared to dedicate uninterrupted time to your mediation and will be ready to begin at the scheduled time, so you will be charged accordingly. A telephone call advising that you will be late is appreciated, but you will still be charged beginning at the time your mediation was scheduled to begin. Remembering your scheduled mediation time and date is your sole responsibility and generally, the mediator will not call or e-mail you to confirm appointments.

Collection of Fees:

If collection or court action is required by the mediator to collect his fees and expenses, the mediator shall be entitled to reasonable attorneys fees and costs incurred. An example would be if the parties provide a check for payment that is returned “NSF” (not sufficient funds) which requires time to be spent by the mediator (or by someone on his behalf) to obtain payment for the amount owed. The mediator may choose to prepare his own legal filings to collect outstanding fees and expenses, and if he does so, the Hourly Rate will apply to the time spent. In addition to the costs of collection, failure to pay for a mediation session within 30 days of the session will result in an additional charge of $100.00 per month for every 30-day period that a party has an outstanding balance.

Additional Sessions:

If more than one day has been reserved for a mediation and the extra day or days are not required, there will be a $350.00 charge for each unused day for Domestic Relations mediation sessions or a $675.00 charge for Civil mediations.

Travel Time:

The first hour of travel time by the mediator (per mediation session) will not be billable; however, travel time that exceeds 1 hour (per mediation session) will be billed at one-third of the Hourly Rate.

Responsibility of Counsel:

The parties agree to be jointly and severally liable for the mediator’s fees and expenses. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, each party is responsible for half of the charges incurred.

Income-Based Mediation Rates:

For persons who may not have the means to obtain a mediator’s services, discounted mediation services are available based on a client’s income. Generally, the rates are based on the Poverty Guidelines (for a family of four) updated periodically in the Federal Register by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the authority of 42 U.S.C. 9902(2).

Domestic Relations Mediations
If the parties make: Percentage of my normal $175 fee to be paid: Discounted hourly rate:
$23,550 or less 50% $90.00
$23,551 - $29,438 62.5% $110.00
29,439 - $35,325 75% $130.00
$35,326 - $41,213 87.5% $155.00
$41,214 or more 100% $175.00

Civil Mediations
If the parties make: Percentage of my normal $225 fee to be paid: Discounted hourly rate:
$23,550 or less 50% $110.00
$23,551 - $29,438 62.5% $140.00
29,439 - $35,325 75% $170.00
$35,326 - $41,213 87.5% $200.00
$41,214 or more 100% $225.00

The discounted fees shown above will be revised annually based on the Poverty Guidelines (for a family of four) updated periodically in the Federal Register by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

A similar pro-rata discount is applied to the Administrative Fee of $100.00. As an example, if your income is equal to (or less than) the minimum amount shown above, then the Administrative Fee would be 50% of the normal amount or $50.00. Similarly, at the 75% level, the Administrative Fee would be $75.00, and at the 100% level, the regular $100.00 fee would be payable.

The mediator reserves the right to revise this schedule at his discretion and to limit the number of clients receiving the discount at any given time, taking into account other clients presently being served. You may be asked to provide proof of your income to qualify for these rates. Generally a copy of your tax return for the prior year will be sufficient.

In the mediators discretion, discounted rates may not be appropriate in some Civil mediation cases. As an example, in a wrongful death case, a recovery of more than $250,000 may not warrant discounted rates and the mediator’s regular hourly rate may be more appropriate.