Mediation with ARS Defined: Mediation is a process where all of the parties to a dispute attend a conference call (either telephonically or via video conference) for the purpose of trying to settle/resolve their dispute. The conference is conducted by a mediator. The mediator cannot impose a settlement on the parties.
Who are ARS Mediators: ARS mediators are all impartial individuals with specific knowledge and experience in various areas of the law, industries or nature of the dispute. Mediators do not represent the interests of any party and are selected solely by ARS.
Role of the Mediator: The role of the mediator is that of a disinterested person trying to help the parties reach an agreed upon settlement. The mediator may at times speak with each of the parties separately for the purpose of giving that party their opinions as to the strengths and weaknesses of their position.
Mediators are required to abide by the Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators established by the American Bar Association. Such standards require in part that a mediator selected shall decline to preside over the mediation if they have an actual or potential conflict of interest and cannot conduct the mediation in an impartial manner. In such situation, the parties will be notified and will have the option of waiving any conflict of the mediator presented or have a new mediator assigned by ARS.
Confidentiality and Privacy: ALL COMMUNICATIONS and evidence submitted in connection with mediation conference, unless required by law, are kept strictly private and confidential. In that regard, mediators shall not be compelled to divulge, nor may parties or their representatives divulge any information related at the mediation or otherwise testify in regard to the mediation in any adversary proceeding or judicial or arbitral forum. Nothing said or done at a mediation conference will be recorded or maintained in ARS files.
Initiating a Mediation: Any party to a dispute may request mediation after the party or if they are represented, their representative registers as a User with ARS. There is no cost for the registration. The process for requesting a mediation conference with ARS is similar to initiating a request to Arbitrate. After completing the initial part of the Application, a Notice will be sent by ARS to the other party (ies) to obtain their consent. Unless mediation with ARS is specifically provided for in an agreement by the parties, participation is voluntary and will not proceed without the consent of all parties.
Where the parties had initially filed request to arbitrate, they may request that a mediation take place any time up to the point at which an Arbitrator has been selected by ARS.
After the agreement is obtained all parties will have an opportunity to submit all of their evidence and state their positions so that the Mediator can be familiar with the matter before the mediation takes place.
Mediation Procedures: *Mediations may be conducted either telephonically or via video conference. ARS shall select the mediator from its’ roster of mediators who, based on their experience, is best suited to mediate the dispute. The mediator shall facilitate discussions between the parties with the goal of assisting the parties in reaching their own resolution of the matter. The mediator shall determine the procedure for the way the mediation is conducted. The parties and their representatives, if they have one, agree to cooperate with the mediator in to assure that the mediation is conducted as quickly as possible and make all reasonable efforts to be available at the designated time for the mediation.
* If any of the parties, or representatives if they have one, require special accommodations to participate in the mediation, they are to notify ARS.
Termination of Mediation: The mediation may be terminated when a settlement agreement is reached or where any party or the mediator declares that further efforts to resolve the matter would be in vain.
In the event of a settlement, ARS will provide upon request a form Settlement Agreement that the parties may use. It will provide for the entry of an Arbitration Award if compliance with the terms of the settlement agreement are not met within the time period stated in the agreement. If no time frame for performance is stated in the agreement it will be implied that the parties must comply within a reasonable period of time from the signing of the Settlement Agreement…
Costs and Fees: Any and all costs or fees incurred in the mediation process shall be bourn equally by all parties unless otherwise agreed by them in writing. In the event of such agreement ARS shall be notified as soon as possible.
Exclusion of Liability: Neither ARS nor any Mediator shall be liable to any party for any error, act or omission in connection with any mediation conducted by ARS nor be considered a necessary party in any judicial procedure related to the mediation.