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Mediation of Financial Disputes

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Rules for the Resolution of Financial Disputes

Effective April 1, 2007

Agreement of the Parties

Parties may submit their dispute to mediation if they have provided for arbitration in their contract, or if they stipulate to the use of mediation to resolve the dispute.  The applicable Rules governing the mediation are the Rules in effect at the time mediation is demanded.

Role of Administrator

When parties agree to mediate under the Rules of the National Center for Dispute Settlement, they authorize NCDS to administer the dispute. The authority of NCDS, as it relates specifically to case administration functions, is prescribed in the Rules. In its capacity as administrator, NCDS is not authorized to make decisions with respect to the merits of any case, or offer advice or suggestions on how to resolve a case. Administrators serve to facilitate the case administration process by appointing mediators, transmitting information between the parties, and arranging for the mediation session. NCDS reserves the right to transfer the administration of a case to any of its offices.

Initiation of Mediation

A party who seeks mediation shall initiate the administrative process by filing a written request to engage NCDS.  This request shall be accompanied by a general description of the dispute, and any contract language that references party agreement to use mediation.  Four (4) copies of the request and the appropriate administrative fee as provided in the Administrative Fee Schedule shall be filed by mail with NCDS which is located at 12400 Coit Road, Suite 1230, Dallas, TX 75251.

Appointment of Mediator

NCDS shall assign a mediator within five (5) work days of receiving the request for mediation. Alternatively, both parties may request a list of mediators, with brief biographical statements included, and rank the list according to preference. If a list which is provided to the parties is not returned within ten (10) work days, all names on the list will be deemed acceptable.

Qualifications of Mediator

Any mediator on the NCDS National Roster is eligible to serve on any pending case, even though the mediator may not have subject matter expertise.  Both parties may stipulate to having their mediation session conducted by a subject- matter expert. If one is not available, NCDS will use its best efforts to locate such an expert from other sources, such as bar organizations or other professional groups.


Should the mediator assigned to a pending case be unable to execute his or her responsibilities within the time and manner prescribed by these Rules, another mediator shall be assigned unless the parties mutually agree to retain the mediator and hold the mediation session at a later date.


Any party may be represented by an attorney.  A party also may be represented by a non-attorney, provided such representation is authorized by the law of the state in which the arbitration is conducted. If a party elects to be represented by an attorney or a non-attorney, their name and address shall be communicated in writing to the other party and to NCDS at least five (5) work days before the
mediation session.

Logistics of Mediation Session
  1. The mediator shall fix the time, date and place of the mediation session.  The mediation session shall be held at the regional office of NCDS, or at any other convenient location agreed to by the parties and the mediator.  By agreement of the parties and the mediator, the mediation session also may be conducted by telephone.
  2. The parties shall notify NCDS of any postponement or cancellation of the session prior to forty-eight (48) hours of the scheduled session. 
  3. Should a party delay, postpone or cancel a mediation session less than forty-eight (48) hours prior to the scheduled date, that party shall be solely liable for any expenses and fees occasioned by such action, including those incurred by the mediator.  The right to make such assessments rests exclusively with NCDS.
Authority of Mediator
  1. The mediator shall have the authority to conduct the mediation session in such manner as the mediator shall judge will best facilitate the disposition of the dispute, consistent with commonly accepted mediation practices and these Rules.
  2. The following rules of conduct shall apply:
    1. Attendance shall be required of each party to the dispute.  There shall be no ex-parte proceedings before or after the mediation session. 
    2. Only those other persons who may have a bearing on the resolution of the dispute shall attend the conference; such attendance shall be in such manner and at such time as the mediator may determine.
    3. Each party shall designate a representative who shall act as a spokesperson; provided, however, that nothing shall preclude a party from making a presentation.
    4. Either party may present such proof, written or oral, as each shall deem necessary to the presentation of their respective position without the challenge of materiality or conformance with any rules of evidence.
    5. The mediator may conduct joint and separate meetings with any person or persons participating during the mediation session.
    6. The mediator shall not direct or compel the resolution of the dispute.
  1. Mediation proceedings are confidential.  Information disclosed to a mediator by counsel, parties, or witnesses (if any) shall not be divulged by the mediator.  Information includes records, reports, and other written documents, including photographs, presented to the mediator during the mediation.
  2. The mediator shall not be compelled to divulge any records or be called upon to testify in any judicial, arbitral, administrative, or other proceeding respecting the mediation.
  3. The parties shall maintain the confidentiality of the mediation and shall not rely on, or introduce as evidence in any judicial, arbitral, administrative, or other proceeding, any of the following:
    1. Views expressed or suggestions made by a party with respect to a possible settlement of the dispute;
    2. Admissions made by a party in the course of mediation;
    3. Proposals made or views expressed by the mediator; or
    4. The fact that a party had or had not indicated willingness to accept a proposal for settlement made by the mediator or another party.
Termination of Mediation
  1. Either party shall have the right to withdraw the dispute from mediation, at any time before or during the mediation session, in which event the mediation shall terminate.
  2. Should the parties not be able to resolve their dispute to their mutual satisfaction after a reasonable period, the mediator may exercise his or herauthority to terminate the mediation.
Interpretation of Rules

The mediator shall interpret and apply these Rules as they relate to the mediator's duties and responsibilities.  All other procedures shall be interpreted and applied by NCDS.

Applications to Court and Exclusion of Liability

Neither NCDS nor any mediator shall be liable to any party for any act or
omission in connection with the mediation session conducted under these Rules.

Fees and Expenses
  • Case Filing Fees - The parties will pay to NCDS a non-refundable filing fee of $600.00, borne equally by the parties.  This fee is intended to compensate NCDS for the administration of the case and in recruiting and training competent neutrals.  A separate fee will be assessed for the professional service rendered by the mediator.  See below.
  • Mediator Fees - The parties are responsible for sharing equally in the payment of the mediator's fee, which may also include study or preparation time.  Mediator fees will be collected from the parties before the start of the formal mediation session.
  • Postponement Fees
    1. For good cause shown, the mediator may postpone the mediation session, upon agreement of the parties, upon request of a party, or upon the mediator's own initiative.  Mediations that are postponed by both parties, or at the request of one party, will be subject to a postponement fee of $75, to be paid by the party causing the postponement.  See Rule 14 - Mediation.  This fee is independent of any fees assessed by the mediator, which remains a collectible fee in case the matter is subsequently withdrawn from arbitration.
    2. All requests for postponement must be communicated to NCDS.
Other Expenses

The expenses of any witnesses, if any, will be borne by the party producing such witnesses.

The parties also are responsible for any reasonable and customary travel expenses of the mediator, which fees shall be paid upon request to NCDS.

If an overnight stay is required, the parties shall pay upon request to NCDS the ordinary and reasonable expenses incurred by the mediator for such lodging.