"Rent-a-judges" market their services as individuals or through private dispute resolution companies. The main for-profit marketing groups are:
American Arbitration Assn. Founded in 1926 and based in New York, AAA has 33 offices throughout the country, including San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose and San Francisco in California, and lists up to 60,000 attorneys, businessmen and a few retired judges who arbitrate about 45,000 cases a year, reaching binding decisions in labor, insurance and business disputes. Arbitrators donate their services for the first day (60% of cases are decided then). They receive $350-$500 a day for extra days. Fees paid by each party begin at $150.
Endispute. Founded by two lawyers in 1981, the company operates from offices in Washington, Cambridge-Boston and Chicago, and specializes in designing dispute resolution methods and training corporations to use them. Disputants choose from a list of retired judges, lawyers, accountants, and businessmen who handle principally non-binding procedures that encourage litigants to develop mutually agreed-upon solutions. Fees begin at $200-325 per party for a half-day conference.
Judicate. Founded in 1985 by attorney Alan Epstein, Judicate advertises itself as "America's private court system." From its Philadelphia headquarters Judicate handles case management and coordination of its 400 retired judges throughout the 50 states, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam. Judicate arranges hearings in law offices, law schools or rented conference rooms, and is now building in Los Angeles the nation's first private courthouse. Fees are $125 per party for a one-hour settlement conference, and $375 per party for a half-day hearing.