Section 20034 Of Chapter 3. Santa Clara County Pilot Project From California Family Law Code >> Division 20. >> Part 1. >> Chapter 3.
. (a) An attorney, known as an Attorney-Mediator, shall be
hired to assist the court in resolving child and spousal support
disputes, to develop community outreach programs, and to undertake
other duties as assigned by the court.
(b) The Attorney-Mediator shall be an attorney, licensed to
practice in this state, with mediation or litigation experience, or
both, in the field of family law.
(c) By local rule, the superior court may designate the duties of
the Attorney-Mediator, which may include, but are not limited to, the
(1) Meeting with litigants to mediate issues of child support,
spousal support, and maintenance of health insurance. Actions in
which one or both of the parties are unrepresented by counsel shall
(2) Preparing support schedules based on statutory guidelines
accessed through existing up-to-date computer technology.
(3) Drafting stipulations to include all issues agreed to by the
parties, which may include issues other than those specified in
(4) If the parties are unable to resolve issues with the
assistance of the Attorney-Mediator, prior to or at the hearing, and
at the request of the court, the Attorney-Mediator shall review the
paperwork, examine documents, prepare support schedules, and advise
the judge whether or not the matter is ready to proceed.
(5) Assisting the clerk in maintaining records.
(6) Preparing formal orders consistent with the court's announced
order in cases where both parties are unrepresented.
(7) Serving as a special master to hearing proceedings and making
findings to the court unless he or she has served as a mediator in
(8) Assisting the court with research and any other
responsibilities that will enable the court to be responsive to the
(9) Developing programs for bar and community outreach through day
and evening programs, video recordings, and other innovative means
that will assist unrepresented and financially disadvantaged
litigants in gaining meaningful access to family court. These
programs shall specifically include information concerning
underutilized legislation, such as expedited temporary support orders
(Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 3620) of Part 1 of Division 9),
modification of support orders (Article 3 (commencing with Section
3680) of Chapter 6 of Part 1 of Division 9), and preexisting,
court-sponsored programs, such as supervised visitation and
appointment of attorneys for children.
(d) The court shall develop a protocol wherein all litigants, both
unrepresented by counsel and represented by counsel, have ultimate
access to a hearing before the court.