Serving All of Oregon Since 1983 | Main Office in Ashland, Oregon | * "Private Court" is a Registered Business Name.
Michael Balocca Attorney at Law
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Private Court, Affordable Divorce and Alternative Legal Services

These alternative services can save people tremendous amounts of money, by reducing or eliminating the need to hire an attorney and by avoiding unnecessary and expensive court hearings and proceedings. There is no need to travel to our main office for these services. We can conduct consultations, mediation and arbitration hearings by telephone or skype. Due to those conveniences our primary area of practice includes; Medford, Ashland, Jackson County, Josephine County, Klamath County and all of Oregon.

Using Affordable Alternative Services Will Also:

  • Save you the stress and embarrassment of appearing in a public Court room.
  • You won't have to face a Judge.
  • You can avoid being cross-examined by hostile opposing attorneys.
  • You can avoid the fear of being intimidated, harassed, embarrassed in open Court.
  • It eliminates the need for you to appear as a witness and tell your story in public before total strangers.

Alternative Services also save you precious time and stressful waiting, because you don't have to wait months on end for an open date on the court's calendar for a trial or hearing. You can move your dispute or case along much more quickly, and get to a resolution much sooner.

All forms of Alternative Services that we utilize are fully legal and will provide you with complete, legally enforceable resolutions for all types of legal matters, including: divorces, custody and family law cases, civil cases and litigation of all types, and disputes of all kinds.

Types of Alternative Legal Services:

"Private Court" and Arbitration

  • Just like a court hearing, only less formal. Not done in court! Done in private!
  • It can be done in person, by telephone, or by video-conferencing.
  • The parties do not need to be in the same room or even in the same building and do not need to confront one another. This is safe, avoids person-to-person conflicts and avoids unnecessary stress and arguments.
  • The Arbitrator, Michael, or in some cases another qualified Arbitrator, resolves the dispute or ongoing court case, without the need for a Court trial or hearing. It's done privately.
  • The Arbitrator decides all issues and creates a "Final Ruling" or a formal "Decision" which can then be filed with a Court if requested - or it can be kept completely private if the parties prefer.
  • Once an Arbitration Decision is filed with a Court, the Court then issues an official, full enforceable Judgment, the same as it does in any other court case. No difference!
  • Arbitration decisions can be appealed like any other court ruling or judgment, if a party chooses to do that. (The parties also have the option of agreeing that there will be no appeal of any decision, if they prefer. This makes the arbitration decision final.)
  • Arbitration is not a new concept. Because of its great advantages, it has been used successfully for many years and is actually required in National Labor Relations Board matters and also by many insurance policies and in government and private contracts.
  • It is very cost effective, saves time, and allows for much greater ease and flexibility in presenting your case and resolving any dispute. That's why it's frequently required as the sole means of resolving a dispute.
  • Michael is a full member of the American Arbitration Association and adheres to the standards established by that organization. Michael served as a judge and is experienced in listening to testimony, taking evidence, and then issuing a proper ruling to resolve cases. He is a member of the Oregon State BAR and also a member of the Oregon State BAR Family Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution Section.

Private Court:

This is the registered business name of the Clinic and the legal service that Michael has created. It is essentially an Arbitration service offered by Michael. Like Arbitration it is used to resolve disputes and Court cases, including divorce, family law and other civil matters. (See above for information about Arbitration.)

Affordable Divorce Services and Divorce Alternatives:

There are many simple and very cost effective ways to deal with Divorce and Family Law matters, including: Divorces, Child Custody and Visitation disputes and court cases. Our Affordable Divorce Services include Mediation, Arbitration, Uncontested Divorces, Custody and Support Agreements, Agreed Upon Settlements, Advice, Coaching, Advisory Opinions, Document Preparation and assistance with document preparation.


In Mediation the parties meet with the Mediator, in person, by phone, or by video- conferencing. As a Mediator Michael uses his extensive knowledge of the law and his vast experience in litigating and settling thousands lawsuits, claims, and disputes of all kinds over 35 years, to help people reach an amicable resolution of their dispute.

Courtroom in Session
Counselors and Mediators without this level of legal experience cannot provide this level of expertise and service! Again, this is a tremendously cost effective, relatively quick and efficient way to resolve disputes without unnecessary expense, stress and court appearances.

 "Med-Arb" Service:

This combination procedure is well known and very successful - it's called "Med-Arb" which is short for "Mediation and Arbitration". It is a combination of the two techniques. If Mediation is attempted and the dispute is not resolved fully by the mediation process, Michael can then immediately convert the case into an Arbitration process. Then he will render an opinion and a decision on the disputed issues to resolve the conflict. The parties must first agree to this approach.

Because he has gained significant knowledge about the dispute while serving as the Mediator, Michael can then use that information and evidence to quickly and efficiently complete the Arbitration process and resolve the dispute. This saves the parties tremendous amounts of time and money by not requiring them to present their case twice in two separate procedures. Again, it's so efficient and effective that it's actually required by the NLRB, and in most insurance, large contracts, and other types of legal disputes.  

Advisory Opinions:

This is a very quick, efficient, and inexpensive way to get the answers the parties are looking for without hiring separate attorneys, litigating a lawsuit, going to court, and gambling on an outcome in a trial or hearing.

The parties simply describe their situation and their dispute and any issues they disagree on to the Arbitrator. The Arbitrator will then legally analyze the issues and render a non-binding legal opinion, informing the parties what the law says about their disputed issues and advising them who would be likely to prevail if the matter went to court. The Arbitrator will tell the parties how a Court or Judge would likely rule on those issues. This is a non-binding procedure, so after receiving the Advisory Opinion the parties are then free to do whatever they want with their dispute. They can Mediate it, Arbitrate it, settle it, do nothing, go to court, or whatever they want. 

This is a great, cheap way, to save lots of money and huge amounts of wasted time in litigation, and gain peace of mind at the same time! 

The Alternative Legal Services Above Can Be Used With or Without A  Court Case Being Filed.

These services are very versatile. They can be used to resolve simple disputes, avoid lawsuits, settle pending lawsuits and help parties who are contemplating a lawsuit, a Divorce or some other type of Family Law matter. No lawsuit needs to be filed first. But if a lawsuit or divorce has already been filed - that's OK too - these services can be used to resolve and settle ongoing lawsuits and divorces.

Parties who have attorneys, and want to keep them, can continue to use their attorney's services. The parties are not required, however, to have an attorney in order to utilize the Alternative Services listed here. These services can be used with or without an attorney. However, these services are best suited to helping people who do not want, or cannot afford to hire an attorney.

There is No Charge and No Obligation for your call!