Zuffa and Plaintiffs Agree to Mediation in UFC Class Action Lawsuit

Reasons for judgement were released this week by the US District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division, confirming that the parties involved have agreed to participate in mediation with a mutually agreed upon mediator no later than September 30, 2015.

Mediation is a routine step in civil lawsuits.  It is simply an agreement to sit down and negotiate in the presence of a mediator.  Mediators have no ability to force the parties to settle, rather they facilitate ongoing discussion in an attempt to help the parties find common ground.  Not too much should be read into this development.

The timing of the agreement to mediate is perhaps more telling.  The parties wish to put off mediation until “the case is farther advanced“.   In other words the parties want some pending motions to be first resolved such as the fight over jurisdiction (California vs Nevada) and also Zuffa’s motion to dismiss the claim.  After these matters are dealt with the parties will see where the chips are falling and perhaps have more inclination to canvass settlement.

The full reasons in this week’s case read as follows:

EDWARD J. DAVILA, District Judge.

Counsel report that they have met and conferred regarding ADR and have reached the following stipulation pursuant to Civil L.R. 16-8 and ADR L.R. 3-5:

WHEREAS, the parties agree to participate in mediation with a mutually agreed upon mediator;

WHEREAS, the parties believe that mediation would be premature at this stage of the case in light of the pending and anticipated motions and other factors;

WHEREAS, the parties believe that meeting and conferring on the appropriate date for mediation would be more productive when the case is farther advanced, and agree to meet and confer no later than September 30, 2015 to agree upon an appropriate schedule for mediation;

ACCORDINGLY, IT IS HEREBY STIPULATED by and between Plaintiffs Cung Le, Nathan Quarry, Jon Fitch, Luis Vazquez, Dennis Hallman, Brandon Vera, Pablo Garza, Gabe Ruediger, Mac Danzig, Kyle Kingsbury, and Darren Uyenoyama and Defendant Zuffa, LLC d/b/a Ultimate Fighting Championship and UFC, through their respective attorneys, subject to the Court’s approval, that these parties will participate in mediation with a mutually agreed upon mediator at a time to be agreed upon not later than September 30, 2015 in satisfaction of the parties’ ADR obligations in this case pursuant to Civil L.R. 16-8 and ADR L.R. 3-5.

Pursuant to L.R. 5.1(i)(3), I attest that all other signatories listed, and on whose behalf the filing is submitted, concur in the filing’s content and have authorized the filing.

[PROPOSED] ORDER

[X] The parties’ stipulation is adopted and IT IS SO ORDERED.

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