Los Altos Mediation Program

LACF initiated and finances the Los Altos Mediation Program (LAMP) to help resolve community conflicts without involving the police department, city staff, or the courts. The mediation service helps resolve disputes among neighbors, co-workers, or organizations in the community. Mediation is provided by trained volunteer mediators under the direction of a paid professional. Disputants participate on a voluntary basis and give up none of their legal rights to resolve the matter

LAMP was initiated in February 1995 following the training of over a dozen mediators. As of 2006, LACF contracted with Project Sentinel to administer LAMP still using six of the original community mediators as volunteers for resolving community disputes. LAMP is managed by a board.

What is Mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary process in which a neutral third party assists two or more persons resolve a dispute in a face-to-face, confidential meeting.  The process is conducted in a non-adversarial environment that encourages open communication.

How Does it Work?
Instead of going to court, mediators help people to come together and talk about their concerns.  The program assigns two co-mediators to each case.  They guide the participants toward a resolution of their own making.  The meetings are scheduled at a time and local site that is convenient to the parties.
The resolution is summarized in writing by the mediators and signed by the parties.  The parties have the option to decide whether the agreement will be confidential or weather it will be disclosed or enforced in court.

Who are the Mediators?
The mediators are professionally trained in the process of effective communication and mediation.  They are people from our local community, from many different professions and backgrounds.  The mediators all subscribe to the principle that people will best resolve their differences in a supportive, non-threatening environment.

Why Mediate?
Because mediation is:
Effective:  most cases that enter mediation are resolved.  Once the parties reach an agreement of their own choosing, they comply with its terms in more than 95% of the cases.
Neutral:  Mediators are impartial, and they do not impose decisions on the parties.
Confidential:  All statements during the mediation are confidential and cannot be used against a party in court.

Who Can Use the Program?
Any resident or property owner in Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and the adjacent unincorporated area, as well as businesses in the area.

What Does it Cost?
All services are free to all parties.  Mediation is arranged to fit the schedules of the parties, and are faster and less stressful than other options, such as court.

Where Does it Take Place?
Mediations are held in the Los Altos Community  House (183 Hillview Avenue, Los Altos) or another convenient local site.

What Happens when I call LAMP?
A professional case manager will explain the program to you.  If you decide to mediate, the case manager will communicate with the other party to encourage them to participate.  If they agree, a mediation session will be scheduled.

What kind of mediation cases does LAMP handle?
LAMP handles a wide variety of cases, including:  Neighbor-Neighbor; Landlord-Tenant; Consumer; Workplace; Parent-Teen; Roomates.

Where do I call for information on the Los Altos Mediation Program (LAMP)?
Call 650-949-5267, or email:

LAMP is a program of the Los Altos Community Foundation.