United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit – Vacancy Announcement

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Vacancy Announcement

POSITION:                                                   CIRCUIT MEDIATOR

LOCATION:                                                  San Francisco, California

SALARY:                                                      CL Grade 31 ($117,133 – $164,200) CL Grade 32 ($137,355 – $174,500)

depending on qualifications and salary

CLOSING DATE:                                          October 3, 2018

START DATE:                                               January 2019


The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit invites applications from qualified persons for the position of Circuit Mediator.  More than one (1) position may be filled from this announcement.


The Circuit Mediation Office is staffed by a Chief Circuit Mediator and seven Circuit Mediators. The mediators facilitate settlement discussions among parties and their counsel in a wide range of civil cases, including civil rights, tribal, employment, intellectual property, insurance, contracts and environmental matters.

Mediators begin the process by conducting conference calls with counsel to explore settlement potential. If the parties are interested in working to resolve the dispute, the mediators help devise a settlement process that meets the distinct needs of the participants in that case.  For instance, in some cases an in-person mediation is held at a mutually agreeable location within the Ninth Circuit. In other cases, all of the settlement work is telephonic and may continue over several months. Whatever settlement process is employed, the mediators facilitate negotiations, manage conflict, and promote the parties’ understanding of the legal, practical, personal and financial ramifications of litigation.  Additionally, mediators assist parties with procedural matters, draft orders and educate the bar about the court’s mediation program.  

The mediators are supported by the collegiality and rich experience of their fellow mediators and the dedicated support staff of the Circuit Mediation Office.


The applicant shall:

  • Be able to communicate effectively, orally and in writing, at the highest professional level.

  • Possess superior analytical skills, including the ability to quickly synthesize complex legal and business issues as well as interpersonal dynamics.

  • Possess strong emotional intelligence and empathy, including excellent listening skills.

  • Be able to relate effectively to a broad array of people, including those with different temperaments, occupations and life experiences. The applicant should be comfortable managing conflict and working with parties who may be intensely emotional.

  • Demonstrate the capacity to exercise excellent judgment and discretion and to work independently in a collaborative court environment.

  • Demonstrate responsiveness, reliability and flexibility both in substantive work and as a member of the team.


  • Juris Doctor degree from an ABA-approved law school.

  • Admission to practice before the highest court of any American state, commonwealth, territory, or possession.

  • At least six years of post-law school experience, ten years preferred, a substantial portion of which must have involved litigation or appellate work, preferably in federal courts.

  • Mediation experience and formal mediation training strongly preferred.

  • Thorough knowledge of civil litigation and the federal rules of civil and appellate procedure.

  • Travel throughout the Ninth Circuit is required.





Mass transit subsidy.


Must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident in the process of applying for citizenship. Positions with the U.S. Courts are excepted service appointments.Excepted service appointments are at will and can be terminated with or without cause by the Court.Employees will be hired provisionally pending the results of a background investigation and fingerprinting.Employees are subject to The Judicial Code of Conduct. Direct deposit of pay required.The U.S. Court of Appeals is an Equal Opportunity Employe


The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is one of 13 federal appellate courts.  Circuit courts hear appeals from the district courts located within their circuit, as well as appeals from decisions of federal administrative agencies. Headquartered in San Francisco with courthouses in Pasadena, Seattle and Portland, the Court serves nine western states, Guam and the Mariana Islands.

For information about the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, please visit:  http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov For information about the Circuit Mediation Office, please visit:  http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/mediation





An application package must include a cover letter, resume, list of three references, and responses to the supplemental questionnaire (see page 4 of the vacancy announcement).

Please submit applications as a single PDF attachment through the Court's Career Portal: https://ca9-employment.breezy.hr/

To ensure consideration, please submit these materials by October 3, 2018

Applicants scheduled for interviews should advise the Human Resources department if any accommodation will be necessary to interview.  Applicants must travel at their own expense and relocation expenses will not be reimbursed.

The Court reserves the right to modify the conditions of this job announcement, withdraw the announcement, or fill the position at any time, any of which may occur without prior written or other notice.



Please submit answers to all of the questions below with your application packet no later than October 3, 2018.

  1. What is interesting to you about this position?

  2. Describe your experience as a mediator, negotiator, or advocate in a mediation process and how the experience has prepared you for this position.

  3. Describe a particularly satisfying mediation or negotiation.

  4. How would the participants in a mediation or negotiation in which you were involved describe you? What would they say are your strengths? What might they say are your weaknesses?