* Our rules are not mandatory. Other rules may be adopted or our rules modified by mutual agreement between all parties.

Section I -The following rules apply to HEARINGS facilitated by Litigation Alternatives.

A.   Definitions:

1.  “Hearing” is the ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) procedure facilitated by Litigation Alternatives Inc.

2.  “Hearing Officer” is the neutral third party mediator of arbitrator selected by the reviewing and/or hearing the submissions of the parties

3.  “Parties” are all persons or legal entities who, either in person or through their representatives, participate in a Hearing and are affected by it’s outcome.  A party has the absolute right elect to participate in the hearing and be affected by it’s outcome.

4.  “Jurisdiction” is the actual or proper jurisdiction for the civil action or potential civil action that is the subject of said Hearing.

5.  “Summary” is the written memorandum submitted to the Hearing Officer by a party, the purpose of which is to familiarize the Hearing Officer with that party’s view of : 1) the pertinent facts of the claim; 2) liability; 3) insurance coverage {if applicable}; 4) valuation.

6.  The “Litigation Alternatives, Inc. Fee Schedule” is the document governing all fees charged by Litigation Alternatives, Inc. and is incorporated herein by reference.

7.  “Settlement Authority” refers to a party’s (or their authorized representative) ability to authorize payment of or receipt of funds or actions that will bring a dispute to a mutually agreed upon conclusion.

8.  “High/Low Agreement” is a written side agreement between the parties that specifically defines the lowest and highest monetary awards that can be awarded or paid by them, notwithstanding a written monetary award by the Hearing Officer above or below the agreed upon parameters.  The existence and terms of the High/Low agreement shall not be disclosed to the Hearing Officer.

B. Rights and Duties of the Hearing Officer-The Hearing Officer:

1. Shall review all summaries provided by the parties prior to the hearing;

2. Shall review all supporting documentation provided by the parties with said summaries unless such documentation is not provided in a timely manner, or in the case of binding arbitration, has not been approved for review by all other parties;

3. Shall conduct the hearing in the form (in person, by telephone or by written submission) agreed to by the parties;

4. May or may not apply the Rules of Evidence and Procedure that he or she deems will equitably promote the pursuit of justice and or maintain an orderly hearing and;

5. Shall promptly submit his or her invoice to the parties, through Litigation Alternatives, Inc. for supplemental time spent reviewing the summaries submitted by the parties and conducting the hearing or for any time spent in preparation for a hearing that is canceled or postponed.

C. Rights and Duties of the Parties-The Parties:

1. Shall make a good faith attempt to provide the Hearing Officer with a concise summary of their position so as to give the Hearing Officer an opportunity to thoroughly review said material prior to the scheduled hearing; and

2. Shall include with their summary, only such supporting documentation as will clarify it;

3. May send their summary, with or without supporting documentation, directly to the opposing party or parties;

4. Agree that all otherwise inadmissible written and oral statements published during the hearing are neither discoverable nor admissible in any way as evidence for any purpose in any civil, administrative or privately facilitated action;

5. Shall not have any ex parte communication with the Hearing Officer regarding the hearing prior to the issuance of a written award/decision unless agreed to by all other parties;

 6. Agree to promptly remit to Litigation Alternatives, Inc. all fees due and owing as set forth in their invoices and the “Litigation Alternatives, Inc. Fee Schedule” operative at the time said hearing is scheduled; and

7. Shall not call or cause either the Hearing Officer or any employee of Litigation Alternatives, Inc. to be called to testify in any way about the dispute;

8. Agree that no record will be kept of the hearing unless otherwise agreed upon by the parties;

9. Agree that any written agreements signed by the parties in reference to the hearing or any ground rules may be signed by them in duplicate original form;

10. Agree that all agreements executed by the parties in reference to the hearing shall be governed by the laws of the jurisdiction where the hearing is held, unless otherwise stipulated; and

11. Agree to hold harmless and indemnify Litigation Alternatives, Inc. its officers, employees and directors for any acts of omission or commission with regard to hearing or the outcome thereof.

Section II  -The following rules apply to all MEDIATIONS AND ADVISORY HEARINGS facilitated by Litigation Alternatives, Inc.

A. Rights and Duties of the Hearing Officer-The Hearing Officer:

1. Shall conduct an evidentiary hearing with all parties and party representatives present unless the presence of all such parties would inhibit the settlement process;

2. Shall exclude all non-party witnesses from the evidentiary hearing except when they are testifying;

3. Shall meet privately with any witness or party if the Hearing Officer feels such private meeting will promote clarification of the facts surrounding the dispute and promote settlement thereof;

4. Shall meet individually with all parties in an effort to ascertain their confidential settlement authority and discuss confidentially with them his or her perception of the relative strengths and weaknesses of their position;

5. May recommend a settlement figure to the parties if he or she feels such recommendation will promote settlement of the dispute;

6. May withhold such recommendation if he or she believes the publication of such settlement figure would not promote resolution of the dispute; and

7. May provide a written opinion if he or she believes that the receipt of said written opinion by the parties will promote settlement of the dispute.

B. Rights and Duties of the Parties-The Parties:

1.  Shall make a good faith effort to:

    a) have full knowledge of the file;

    b) be prepared for the hearing; and

    c) obtain, or have access to, settlement authority;

2.  Shall negotiate in good faith; and

3.  Shall apprise the Hearing Officer of any limitations, other than their own opinion, on the settlement authority they possess at the time of the hearing.

Section III -The following rules apply to all BINDING ARBITRATIONS facilitated by Litigation Alternatives, Inc. and are incorporated by reference therein.

A. Rights and Duties of the Hearing Officer-The Hearing Officer:

1. Shall provide to Litigation Alternatives, Inc. a written decision including a stated monetary award or judgement of no-cause, no later than 30 (thirty) days from the date of the hearing or final receipt of clarifying documentation from the parties;

2. May either: a) postpone the hearing; b) continue the hearing and schedule an additional hearing; or c) request that the parties submit briefs upon motion of one of the parties, when he or she finds that evidence presented at the hearing:

i. has caused undue surprise and material detriment for one or more parties to be bound by the decision; and

ii. finds that such remedy will provide the aggrieved party or parties the opportunity to respond to, clarify or provide the evidence.

B. Rights and Duties of the Parties-The Parties:

1. Agree to provide properly executed procedure agreements to the representatives of Litigation Alternatives, Inc. prior to any scheduled hearing;

2. Agree to provide the opposing party/ies, upon their request, such appropriately executed procedure and/or ground rule agreements prior to the commencement of the hearing;

3. Shall, prior to the scheduling of a hearing, disclose to all the parties and Litigation Alternatives if they are expecting to receive additional, disclosable, medical information, reports or other evidence that might materially change the perceived value of the claim;

4.  Shall bear all costs associated with a postponement of the scheduled hearing resulting from their receipt of information as outlined in Paragraph IIIB(3) above;

5. Agree to abide by the written decision rendered, except as they, in good faith, believe there has been either gross misconduct or material miscalculation by the Hearing Officer that will be grounds for appeal under the arbitration statutes of the jurisdiction;

6. Where the parties have entered into a Binding Arbitration Agreement or a Binding Arbitration Agreement coupled with an agreement governing the parameters of their recovery and or exposure, they;

A. Agree not to disclose the parameters of said agreement(s) to the Hearing Officer either in any written or oral submission either ex parte or during the hearing itself;

B.  Agree not to disclose Policy Limits of any insurance policy/ies that are the subject of such Binding Arbitration Agreement/s to the Hearing Officer either ex parte or during the hearing itself unless agreed to by all other parties to the hearing;

C.  Agree not to disclose the details of prior settlement negotiations (i.e. fire offers and demands etc.) to the Hearing Officer either ex parte or during the hearing itself unless agree to by all other parties to the hearing;

D.  Understand that disclosure during the hearing as articulated above IIIB(6a-c) shall give the other party/ies to the hearing the absolute right to declare said hearing null and void;

E. Understand that if there is a disclosure as articulated above in Paragraph IIIB(6a-c), that the declaration that the hearing be deemed null and void IIIB(6d) must be made immediately or forever waived by the aggrieved party/ies;

F. Agree to pay additional costs and fees for a second hearing before another Hearing Officer caused by such declaration as specified above IIIB(6d);

G. Agree that a second hearing before another Hearing Officer is the exclusive remedy when a hearing is declared null and void for disclosure of High/Low parameters.

7. Understand that the provisions of Paragraph IIIB (6), sections A through E, shall apply to any other ground rules the parties have agreed not to disclose to the Hearing Officer.

8. Understand that there can be no award in excess of the available coverage of the insurance policy of the participating insured/defendant; and 2) that any award made against one party cannot be enforced against any other party not participating in the hearing unless previous agreement has been obtained from such third-party; furthermore, understand and agree to waive any interest award based upon an award of the arbitrator that is in excess of any Offer of Judgement duly filed with the Superior Court at any time prior to the entry of the award; and

9. Agree that the written agreements of the parties and the decision of the Hearing Officer may be enforced by the appropriate Judicial Authority.