The court has adopted the selective use of mediation to help process its large number of immigration cases. See Order Setting Assessment Conference in Immigration Case in Relevant Rules, Forms and Orders section, below. Although immigration cases are often seen as all-or-nothing legal disputes, experience has shown that some immigration cases are very good candidates for settlement discussions. Good candidates for mediation include:

  • Cases in which it seems likely that more proceedings are needed before the BIA, such as when the BIA did not consider all claims or issues, or where subsequent case law suggests that the Ninth Circuit will remand the case to the BIA for further consideration.
  • Cases in which there have been developments in petitioner’s life that provide the basis for a motion to reopen proceedings to apply for adjustment of status. The parties may be able to agree to file a joint motion to reopen.
  • Cases in which a mediation conference call provides a useful forum for clarifying the procedural posture of the case (e.g., when motions are pending before the administrative agency), or exploring all possible forms of relief (e.g., identifying that petitioner is a member of a class in a class action or that petitioner may be covered by a new statute).
  • In rare cases where the equities are such that the parties agree to leave the removal order in place, but the government agrees not to enforce it so long as petitioner does not violate certain conditions.
  • Cases where petitioners might be eligible for "Dream Act" or other forms of relief involving deferred action, prosecutorial discretion or administrative closure.