I will extend special rates to those denied help due to cancellation of the Los Angeles Superior Court Pro Bono Mediation Program.

Call for quote +1 (310)498-1718

The Law Offices of John Spano

When legal help is out of reach, the courts become inaccessible and American justice suffers. I can help. My mediation skills and experience add a unique dimension to the extra value I offer consumers, lawyers, and mediators. As an attorney licensed in multiple jurisdictions, I have years of experience practicing in California courts in many areas of law, from consumer issues to business disputes, to rental disputes and family and divorce law, to probate and estate planning. But my dedication to the law goes well beyond the courtroom: three decades in legal affairs journalism at the Los Angeles Times provide me with a broad background that can't be learned in law school. That unique perspective has convinced me that litigation is not always the best way for consumers to reach their objectives. I have worked with cutting-edge web-based legal services firms. I understand that the market for legal services is in the midst of a complete transformation, and how lawyers must respond with creative and less expensive solutions to everyday legal needs.

My position is unique. I can find the best solution to your legal needs.




I’ll make clear to your clients that mediation is not a trial, and the mediator is not a judge. I will honor your role as attorney, and reaffirm your authority at all times. Based on many years of legal journalism, I am also uniquely qualified to communicate meaningfully and respectfully with your clients about the mediation process and possible outcomes. Part of the process is to hear and understand what clients are saying. I bring both an ability to relate to legal consumers on a personal level , and law licenses going back 36 years, to my mediations. I recognize that extraordinary circumstances may require sessions at night or weekends.

Forget the common view that everyone loses in mediation. My goal is to help your client feel like a winner. That positive benefit stems from my central role: to bring clients’ expectations down to earth. My job is not to judge, or act like a judge, as so many mediators do. I don’t determine what’s best for your client, but I help them discover that for themselves. Your obligation to zealously represent your client continues into any mediation, and I scrupulously respect that duty. The lawyer represents the client, and I always honor the principle. I recognize that having lawyers and clients in the same room may introduce a new dynamic; I often meet with lawyers separately, and clients separately, if requested by the attorney. Mediators represent clients, not the deal, which can depend on the ability to influence litigants’ expectations.




How can you be sure your lawyer is doing a good job? Do you know that the charges reflect what you need, and not what your lawyer wants to collect? Do you have a nagging suspicion that you could have done just as well with a cut rate internet service?

You are not alone. Many people who hire lawyers say they are frustrated because they can't be certain they are getting their money's worth, according to consumer surveys. This has led to calls to reform the legal profession to become more consumer friendly and less organized for the convenience of the law firms and the lawyers. I spent 30 years explaining legal concepts and processes to millions of Southern California web news and newspaper readers. I know how to communicate.

I know that you need an advisor who will place your interests above all others. That I will do. I am dedicated to my clients' causes, and pursue their objectives with fervor. That is not an exaggeration -- it is my duty. It is also my professional passion. Seeing that justice is done has been central to my professional life. And my work with online services such as Legalzoom have taught me how important it is to make sure the proper services are provided. If your needs are straightforward, don’t be surprised if I direct you to a competent and affordable documents provider.

How can we help?


Please call John at 310-498-1718. John will call you back directly, mostly within one business day.


The fee for hourly mediation is $200. The minimum charge is for one half day. A full day consists of nine hours; one hour is for preparation. The balance is for conducting the mediation on the day set. I am ready to assist in any way I can, and normally I will be present for however long is needed.

Fees must be deposited in advance and may not be refunded if the mediation is cancelled within 14 days of the scheduled date.

This will be your total fee depending on where you wish to conduct the mediation.


Mediation briefs are requested from all parties five business days before the mediation. I suggest you send opposing counsel copies of your briefs. There are many occasions when it is best for counsel to send, in addition, a confidential letter to me containing information that is vital to the mediation but which counsel does not want disclosed to all parties.


All parties must attend court ordered mediation. All parties should attend any mediation. In addition, counsel should discuss with the client the briefs that have been filed. Counsel is also expected to discuss confidentiality withclients, as well as offer a basic description of the structure of the mediation, including the potential need for caucuses.