How I set my fees

I charge $150 per hour for my services, a flat rate. If I must travel to a site more than 10 miles from my office (in Westbrook, Maine), I also charge $50 per hour for the travel time and $0.40 per mile.

I have intentionally set my rates lower than what attorneys charge, because doing so seems consistent with my promise that if the parties settle their dispute through me they will save money. In addition, since my office is at my home (I've converted part of the barn) I don't have the overhead of maintaining an additional property.

I do not charge a flat rate per session (for example, $500 for a half-day hearing or $900 for a whole-day hearing). The reason is that I expect to be paid for my preparation time, and for the time it takes me to write up the settlement agreement the parties reach, as well as for the session time itself. Furthermore, I don't think it's fair to charge people for a whole-day hearing if (for example) they settle at 2:00 PM.

I do not vary my fees based on the number of parties in a case.

When people represent themselves, I normally ask to be paid at the end of each session. When people are represented by attorneys I will request payment in advance (a retainer) for the time I anticipate the case will take. The reason for the different approach is that, when people have no attorneys, I cannot anticipate how long it will take either to reach a settlement or to decide that pursuing settlement is a waste of the parties' time and money.

Fee Agreements

I have two basic fee agreements, one for parties with attorneys and one for parties without attorneys.

  • Fee Agreement - Parties with attorneys
  • Mediation Fee Agreement (Parties Pro-Se)




John C. Sheldon
Maine Dispute Resolution
88 Starlight Way
Westbrook, ME 04092
Office 207-591-5365
Cell 207-712-9585
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