DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCEDURES

Rule No: 
9045-1

(a) Availability of Mediator. Promptly after appointment, a Mediator not available to serve in the Matter shall notify the parties, the alternate Mediator, and the Program Administrator of that unavailability. The alternate Mediator shall thereafter serve as the Mediator.

(b) Initial Telephonic Conference. As soon as practicable after notification of appointment, the Mediator shall conduct a telephonic conference with pro se parties and/or counsel for the parties to provide preliminary information to the Mediator concerning the nature of the Matter, the expectations of the parties, and anything else which will facilitate the process (the “Initial Conference”).

(c) Mediation Conference Scheduling. Within 7 days of the Initial Conference, the Mediator shall give notice to the parties of the time and place for the mediation conference (the “Mediation Conference”), which shall commence not later than 28 days following the date of appointment of the Mediator, and which shall be held in a suitable neutral setting, such as the office of the Mediator, at a location convenient to the parties. Upon written stipulation between the Mediator and the parties, the Mediation Conference may be continued.

(d) Mediation Statements. Unless modified by the Mediator, no later than 14 days after the date of the order assigning the Matter to the Program, each party shall submit to the Mediator a written mediation statement (“Mediation Statement”). Mediation Statements may be shared with other parties if agreed upon at the Initial Conference. Such statements shall not exceed 10 pages (exclusive of exhibits and attachments). At the Initial Conference the parties and the Mediator shall determine the topics to be addressed in the Mediation Statements. Suggested topics include:

(1) identify the person(s), in addition to counsel, who will attend the session as representative of the party with decision making authority;

(2) describe briefly the substance of the dispute;

(3) address whether there are legal or factual issues whose early resolution might appreciably reduce the scope of the dispute or contribute significantly to settlement;

(4) identify the discovery that could contribute most to equipping the parties for meaningful discussions;

(5) set forth the history of past settlement discussions, including all prior and presently outstanding offers and demands;

(6) make an estimate of the cost and time to be expended for further discovery, pretrial motions, expert witnesses and trial;

(7) indicate presently scheduled key dates related to the dispute, including discovery deadlines, status conferences, pretrial conferences, and trial; and

(8) provide the terms of an acceptable settlement that would conclude the matter and end further litigation expenses.

(e) Statements Not To Be Filed. The Mediation Statements shall not be filed with the court and the court shall not have access to them.

(f) Identification of Participants. Parties may identify in the Mediation Statements any persons connected to a party opponent (including a representative of a party opponent’s insurance carrier) whose presence at the Mediation Conference would improve substantially the prospects for making the session productive; the fact that a person has been so identified, shall not, by itself, result in an order compelling that person to attend the Mediation Conference.

(g) Documents. Parties shall attach to their Mediation Statements copies of documents out of which the dispute has arisen, e.g., contracts, or those whose availability would materially advance the purposes of the Mediation Conference.

CROSS REFERENCES: See General Order No. 2012-4 (Technical Corrections to Mediation Program Rules)