Mediation is a widely recognized tool to affect a consensual resolution of a dispute, utilizing the services of impartial, third-party mediators, meeting directly with the participants and their counsel. As such, neither Arbitration Services, Inc. nor its designated mediator has any power or authority to render an award, decision, or other binding determination against either party. Parties electing to utilize the mediation services of Arbitration Services, Inc. should note that the following mediation rules and procedures applicable to such proceedings.
M.1. In order to commence the mediation process, the party or parties should contact Arbitration Services, Inc., which will then contact all parties regarding the commencement of mediation.
M.2. Once the parties have agreed to mediate and have executed a written mediation agreement, Arbitration Services, Inc. will select a mediator who shall serve in the dispute. The mediator shall certify that he or she has no financial, personal, or other interest in the outcome of the mediation and has no relationship with any part to the mediation or representative counsel. Upon the appointment of a mediator, any party shall have the right to object to the mediator, by written letter to the administrator, within ten (10) days of notification of such mediator. In the event no objection is filed, the mediator shall execute an oath and undertake his or her duties as mediator. The parties recognize, however, that the mediators are independent contractors and are neither agents, servants, nor employees of Arbitration Services, Inc.
M.3. Whenever Parties mediate with Arbitration Services, Inc., each party agrees to mediate in good faith, in accordance with Arbitration Services, Inc.’s mediation rules and procedures, or such other rules and procedures as may be dictated by the parties’ agreement. The parties should be mindful that by agreeing to mediate, the parties are agreeing to attempt a consensual resolution of their differences in good faith.
M.4. In order to conduct a meaningful mediation, the parties acknowledge that all sides to the dispute are to be represented at each and every mediation hearing. In doing so, the parties shall endeavor to ensure that the respective representatives attending the mediation are fully knowledgeable of the underlying facts and circumstances and have full authority to undertake settlement negotiations in good faith. During any mediation session, the mediator will conduct an orderly settlement process that may consist of meeting with each side separately so as to assist the mediator in understanding each party’s position and attempting to find common ground for settlement purposes. Any information obtained by the mediator, in a private session with any party, shall be treated as confidential and shall not be disclosed to the other party or parties unless authorized by the agreement of the parties, or an order from a court of competent jurisdiction, directing such disclosure.
M.5. Upon appointment of Arbitration Services, Inc. as the mediating agency, it will contact the parties and attempt to establish a time and location for each mediation session.
M.6. The parties specifically recognize that mediation is a confidential process involving settlement negotiations, which are protected from disclosure in any pending or subsequent judicial proceeding. As such, any information obtained during the process, whether written or oral, made in the course of the mediation process, will not be subject to later discovery or disclosure by any party against the other. Thus, the parties agree not to subpoena or otherwise require the mediator or Arbitration Services, Inc. to testify at any judicial proceeding or to produce any records, work papers, or documents disclosed during this confidential process. Since confidentiality is a principal underlying factor in the mediation process, there shall be no stenographic or other recordings by any means of any portion of the mediation.
M.7. The parties acknowledge that the mediator is not acting as an advocate, or providing legal representation, to any party to the mediation, whether a party is represented by legal counsel or not, and that any information, evaluation, or advice which may be given by the mediator during mediation, does not constitute legal advice. If any written settlement agreement is created in connection with the mediation, each party to the agreement is advised to have it independently reviewed by his, her, or its own counsel prior to executing it. The parties further acknowledge that neither Arbitration Services, Inc. nor the mediator has a duty to protect any party’s legal rights or obligations, nor does Arbitration Services, Inc. nor the mediator have any duty to advise any party of its legal obligations or rights, including such matters as statutes of limitations, or other limitations that may exist with regard to asserting any claim or defense.
M.8. Should a party require the discovery of the other party prior to participating in any scheduled mediation session, the parties shall undertake a good faith effort to exchange such documents as may be required. Should the parties fail to reach an agreement, either party may present the matter to the mediator for a non-binding recommendation.
M.9. The mediation shall be terminated for any reason by written notification to the mediator, Arbitration Services, Inc., and the other participants to the mediation at any time. The mediator may terminate his or her participation in the mediation if:
(a) the parties fail to pay for his or her services;
(b) continuation of the mediation would involve a violation of applicable ethical rules; or
(c) the mediator determines that he or she can no longer in good conscience act as a neutral amongst the parties.
M.10. The parties, upon notification by Arbitration Services, Inc., shall deposit such sums as Arbitration Services, Inc. may request to defray the mediator’s fees.
M.11. These rules may be amended or modified by Arbitration Services, Inc. at any time, without notice.