Early Settlement Program (ESP)
What is ESP?
The Bar Association of San Francisco’s (BASF) Early Settlement Program (ESP) is available as one of the Court’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) programs (Local Rule 4.3).
BASF's ESP has been successfully resolving cases quickly and economically for over 20 years and boasts a 78% settlement rate and 97% satisfaction rate.
The ESP is a highly successful ADR program that uses experienced litigation attorneys, who provide two to three free hours of settlement conference time per case. The attorney panelists may serve solo or in panels of two, and are matched with cases based on their areas of expertise for business, personal injury, employment, labor, civil rights, discrimination, insurance, malpractice and landlord/tenant disputes. ESP is unique in that panelists may provide their evaluation of the case during the conference based on their litigation experience, including opinions, confidentially to each side, as to potential case value.
Please review the Policies and Procedures (62KBPDF) for the Early Settlement
There is a $250 administrative fee per party, capped at $500 for multiple parties represented by the same attorney, to pay for the cost of running this program.
Please complete the ESP Agreement and return it to BASF via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax, 415-989-0381
- When all parties have signed the ESP Agreement, you will be sent the Notice of ESP, along with an invoice.
- There is a $250 administrative fee per party, with a cap of $500 for multiple parties represented by the same counsel. You can pay by check, money order or credit card.
Within 15 days of the date of the invoice, you must send your administrative fee by fax (415-989-0381), email (email@example.com) or mail to: BASF / ESP, 301 Battery Street, Third Floor, San Francisco, California 94111
When BASF receives the fees from all parties, your matter will be assigned to a panelist, who you will work with to set the time, date and location for your conference.
If you must reschedule your ESP conference date, you must work with the other side and your panelist(s) directly to set the new date. BASF does not need to be notified.
One week before your conference, you must provide a copy of your statement to all parties and panelists with a proof of service showing all who were sent the statement. BASF does not need a copy.
If the matter is settled in your ESP conference, congratulations! You must notify the Court immediately.
- Check or Money Order: Make payable to BASF/ESP.
- Credit Card: If you with to use a credit card, please download and complete the:
ESP Charge Form
Stipulation to Settlement Use this form to notify the court of your settlement.
If the matter is not settled in your ESP conference, your initial court date remains the same.