Mediation is a process under which an impartial person, the Mediator, facilitates communication between the parties to promote reconciliation, settlement, or understanding among them. The mediator may suggest ways of resolving the dispute.
Whenever the parties have agreed to mediation, they shall be deemed to have made these rules, as amended and in effect as of the date of the submission of the dispute, a part of their agreement to mediate.
The parties consent to the appointment of the individual named as mediator in their case. The Mediator shall act as an advocate for understanding and use his best efforts to assist the parties in searching for a mutually acceptable settlement.
The Mediator does not have the authority to decide any issue for the parties, but will attempt to facilitate the voluntary resolution of the dispute by the parties. The Mediator is authorized to conduct joint and separate meetings with the parties and to offer suggestions to assist the parties in achieving settlement. If necessary, the Mediator may also obtain expert advice concerning technical aspects of the dispute, provided that the parties agree and assume the expenses of obtaining such advice. Arrangements for obtaining such advice shall be made by the Mediator or the parties, as the Mediator shall determine.
The parties understand that the Mediator will not and cannot impose a settlement in their case and agree that they are responsible for negotiating a settlement acceptable to them. The Mediator, as an advocate for understanding, will use every effort to facilitate the negotiations of the parties. The Mediator does not warrant or represent that settlement will result from the mediation process.
Party representatives must have authority to settle and all persons necessary to the decision to settle shall be present. The names and addresses of each person shall be communicated in writing to the Mediator.
The Mediator shall fix the time of each mediation session. The mediation shall be held at the office of the Mediator, or at any other convenient location agreeable to the Mediator and the parties, as the Mediator shall determine.
Prior to the first scheduled mediation session, each party shall provide the Mediator with an Information Sheet and Request for Mediation on the form provided by the Mediator, setting forth its positions with regard to the issues that need to be resolved.
At or before the first session, the parties will be expected to produce all information reasonably required for the Mediator to understand the issues presented. The Mediator may require any party to supplement such information.
Confidential information disclosed to a Mediator by the parties or by witnesses in the course of the mediation shall not be divulged by the Mediator. All records, reports, or other documents received by a mediator while serving in that capacity shall be confidential. The Mediator shall not be compelled to divulge such records or to testify in regard to the mediation in an adversary proceeding or judicial forum. Any party that violates this agreement shall pay all fees and expenses of the Mediator and other parties, including reasonable attorney’s fees incurred in opposing the efforts to compel testimony or records from the Mediator.
The parties shall maintain the confidentially of the mediation and shall not rely upon, nor introduce as evidence in any arbitral, judicial, or other proceeding: a) views expressed or suggestions made by another party with respect to a possible settlement of the dispute; b) admissions made by another party in the course of the mediation proceedings; c) proposals made or views expressed by the Mediator; or d) the fact that another party had or had not indicated willingness to accept a proposal for settlement made by the Mediator.
The mediation shall be terminated: a) by the execution of a settlement agreement by the parties; b) by declaration of the Mediator to the effect that further efforts at mediation are no longer worthwhile; or c) after the completion of one full mediation session, by a written declaration of a party or parties to the effect that the mediation proceedings are terminated.
The Mediator is not a necessary or proper party in judicial proceedings relating to the mediation. Neither Mediator nor any law firm employing Mediator shall be liable to any party for any act or omission in connection with any mediation conducted under these rules.
The Mediator’s fee shall be agreed upon prior to mediation and paid according to his invoice. The expenses of witnesses for either side shall be paid by the party producing such witnesses. All other expenses of the mediation, including fees and expenses of the Mediator, and the expenses of any witness and all the cost of any proofs or expert advice produced at the direct request of the Mediator, shall be borne equally by the parties unless they agree otherwise. Any conflict between these rules and any court order to which the mediation is subject, shall be controlled by the court order. The mediator acts as a neutral intermediary for the parties. The mediator cannot and will not act as as advocate for any of the parties. Additionally, in the event the mediator assists in preparing a written settlement agreement pursuant to a mediation, each participant should have the settlement agreement independently reviewed by the participant’s counsel before executing the agreement.