The Recorder has an upsetting article today titled First District Mulls Future of Mediation Program, which notes that the program administrator has left the court to start a private appellate mediation practice and that no new mediations are being scheduled. The First District's program, started in 1999, was a leader and early innovator in the world of appellate settlement. The apparent impending demise of the program appears to be a cost-savings issue, even though much of the mediation work was conducted by volunteers.
The article notes that 4/3 ended its mediation program a few years ago for budgetary reasons. 4/3's website state's the program was discontinued in July 2011. http://www.courts.ca.gov/2519.htm#jud3
Let's hope that this disturbing trend does not continue.
Info on the 2d District's program is here: http://www.courts.ca.gov/2499.htm
4/1's program is described here: http://www.courts.ca.gov/2519.htm#settle
Info on 4/2's program is here: http://www.courts.ca.gov/2519.htm#volunteer