Frequently Asked Questions

Why mediate instead of litigate?

Mediation offers a faster, confidential means to communicate with someone on the other side of a disagreement. Litigation is more costly and time consuming than mediation. With mediation the people directly involved in the dispute come up with the solution to the problem, litigation binds the parties to the ruling crafted by either a judge or a jury.

Why is ETC at a house instead of an office?

The El Toyon Mansion in Auburn is the ideal location for mediations and retreat-style training sessions. By putting people in a calm, relaxing environment they are better able to focus on the task at hand. Parties can feel confident that personal matters will remain private, unlike an office building where multiple tenants walk by at random times, the El Toyon Institute will operate by appointment only; there will be no need to worry about a stranger overhearing sensitive subject matter.

How much does it cost to mediate with ETC?

ETC will operate on a sliding scale so that our mediation services will be affordable for everyone.  Free services will be available to those who cannot afford it.

Tuition for training will vary depending on the program.

Who can use mediation?

Ideally, everyone would be able to use mediation. Reality, however, dictates that there are certain people for whom the process would be inappropriate. ETC will conduct screening to ensure both parties can benefit from mediation. Participants must be willing and able to sit and discuss their issues in an honest way and be looking for the opportunity to settle their dispute.

How can I become a mediator with ETC?

ETC will be training volunteers to conduct mediations and will be inviting seasoned mediators to participate in mediations. Feel free to contact us if you are interested in volunteering. will be updated as training events are scheduled.