RULES OF PROCEDURES
Rule No. 1 Title of Rules
All rules adopted by Century Mediation Associates, Inc. shall be known as the CMA Rules of Procedures and may be cited by appropriate rule number and subsection.
Rule No. 2 Applicability and ScopeThese rules govern all proceedings before CMA, whether cognizable as cases in law or equity and shall be construed to secure the just, speedy, private and inexpensive determination of every action.
These rules shall apply in the form they exist at the time the claim or controversy is initiated.
The parties may enter into written agreement at any time to amend, modify or abrogate any rule of CMA or any procedural matter restriction.
Unless otherwise agreed by al parties, all rulings on law which would be applicable if the case was heard in the appropriate court of public jurisdiction.
Rule No. 3 TimeWhen any period of time is referred to in any rule, such periods shall be computed so as to exclude the first include the last day of such period. Whenever the last day of any such period shall fall on Saturday or Sunday, or on any day made a legal holiday bye the laws of the state in which CMA is sitting for any giving proceeding or of the United States, such day shall be omitted from the computation.
Before the expiration of the prescribed periods, nay judge assigned, may for cause shown, modify any periods in which an act may be done, or upon application and notice, modify any period after the specified periods has expired.
Rule No. 4 Filing and Certification
All papers file with CMA and sent to other parties shall be deemed filed or sent upon actually deliver to CMA or the other Parties. The filing party shall send copies of all papers file with CMA to all other parties to the proceeding within 24 hours of filing.
Rule No. 5 Representation By Counsel
Any party submitting to dispute resolution pursuant to the rules of CMA may be represented by any attorney who is a member in good standing of the bar of any state or federal court.
Rule No. 6 Initiation of Action
An action is initiated upon the filing of a completed CMA File Worksheet, either be mail, telecopier or the telephone of all pertinent information to a CMA representative, who will then complete the necessary File Worksheet form.
Rule No. 7 Determination of Proceeding
A proceeding may be either a hearing (arbitration) or a settlement conference (mediation).
Unless otherwise stipulated by the parties, hearings are binding in nature and present an opportunity for evidence to be presented in a manner similar to a trial without a jury in the public court system. Hearings are usually scheduled for three hours or more and allow for live testimony by nonparty witnesses. A one hour expedited hearing is available, but does no permit live testimony by non party witnesses.
Settlement conferences are scheduled for one or more hours and unless otherwise stipulate by the parties, are non-binding. No witnesses may be presented at the settlement conference.
At the request of the parties, a separate conference may be held for the purpose of dealing the discovery issues. Discover conferences are usually scheduled for one hour and are limited to the resolution of discovery issues, which have arisen in a cases, where or not the cases itself has been submitted to CMA.
Rule No. 8 Judge SelectionUnless otherwise stipulated by the parties, the parties to a dispute shall jointly agree upon the selection of a judge for the CMA Panel Of Arbitrators and Mediators
Unless otherwise stipulate by the parties, any judge selected shall hear and resolve all aspects of a dispute.
Unless otherwise stipulated by the parties, settlement matters shall not be heard by the same judge selected to determine final resolution of the issues involved.
Rule No. 9 Fee ScheduleCMA shall periodically publish a fee schedule setting administrative and hearing fees.
The expenses of witnesses or costs of proofs shall be paid or by the party producing the same. The costs of stenographic record, if any is made, shall be paid by the parties ordering copies of the same Payment shall be made directly to the reporting service in accordance with their prevailing fee schedule.
Hearings are usually scheduled for an interval of three hours in length, with the exception of an expedited hearing (see Rule 7), which shall be scheduled to intervals of on or more hours. All discovery and settlement conferences shall be scheduled for intervals of one or more hours.
A postponement fee shall be paid by any party requesting a postponement of a schedule hearing or conference. If the postponement is sought by more than on party; the parties seeking the delay shall pay the postponement fee equally and proportionately.
If a party fails to pay its portion of CMA fees in accordance with the CMA Fee Schedule applicable at the time of the hearing, CMA shall have the right to postpone the hearing by providing all parties with a written notice at least 48 hours prior to the haring time.
Rule No. 10 Procedure Prior to HearingsIn any action where the parties request it, the assigned judge shall schedule a conference to consider the following:
1. the simplification of the issues;
2. the limitation of the number of expert or lay witnesses;
3. the scheduling of discovery;
4. the possibility of obtaining admission of fact and of documents which will avoid unnecessary proof;
5. such other matters as may aid in the disposition of the action.
The parties may file pre-hearing memoranda with DCMA, provided that copies are sent to all parties in accordance with Rule No. 4.
Rule No. 11 Discovery
The parties shall have the right to take depositions and to obtain discovery and to that end may exercise the same rights, remedies and procedures and shall be subject to the same duties, liabilities and obligations as provided in the discovery rules of the public court in which the case had been previously filed or, if no claim is pending before a court of public jurisdiction, then as provided in rules which would be applicable if the case was heard in the appropriate court of public jurisdiction.
Notwithstanding the above, the amount, type and time for completion of discovery may be set by agreement of the parties and/or by order of the assigned judge.
Rule No. 12 AttendanceOnly the parties and/or their attorneys shall be permitted to attend or participate in conferences or hearings. All other persons shall be excluded except upon agreement of the parties.
Upon applications, the assigned judge may require sequestrations of any non-party witness during the testimony of other witnesses.
Rule No. 13 Conduct
The assigned judge shall have the following powers;
To administer oaths or affirmations to witnesses;
To permit testimony to be offered by deposition;
To examine any site or object relevant to the case;
To rule upon the admissibly of evidence offered;
To permit evidence to be offered and introduced as provided in these rules;
To invite the parties on reasonable notice to submit hearing briefs;
To make any ruling on any motion or matter presented to the court.
Rule No. 14 Evidence ProceduresExcept as otherwise prescribed by this rule or otherwise agreed to by the parties, the same rules of evidence which would be applicable if the case was heard in the appropriate court of public jurisdiction shall be followed at all hearing before CMA.
At least seven working days prior to the hearing, each party shall send to all other parties a list of documents to be presented at the time of the hearing, accompanied by a copy of any document no previously provided. Any document not send in accordance with rule NO. 4 or any witness no so indentified, except those required in rebuttals to any claim or defense, may be excluded at the time of hearing.
If notice has been given pursuant to a section above, a party may offer in evidence, without further proof, the following:
1. bills, records and reports of hospitals, doctors, dentists, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and physical therapists or other licensed health care providers;
2. bills for drugs, medical appliances and prostheses;
3. bills for written estimates of valued, damage to, cost o repair of or loss property;
4. a report of rate of earnings and time lost from work or lost compensation prepared by an employer
5. the verified reports, statements, affidavits or declarations of any expert witness, who testimony would otherwise be admissible, provided that the assigned judge may disregard any portion of the statement that would be inadmissible if the expert witness was testifying in person.
Any party may subpoena the witness or custodian whose testimony is waived by this rule to appear at the hearing or may, at least ten days prior to the hearing, deliver to the party proposing the report, record, document, thing or witness a written demand that the witness or custodian be produced in parson to testify at the hearing. Any adverse party may cross-examine that witness if he were a witness for the party offering the document or testimony.
Rule No. 15 Directed Award or Default
If a matter is called for a hearing and the plaintiff appears but the defendant does not, the assigned judge shall hear the case, and based on the evidence heard, enter an award unless, upon good cause shown, the judge grants a continuance. If the defendant appears but he plaintiff does not, the assigned judge shall enter an award in favor of the defendant unless, upon good cause shown, the judge grants a continuance. If the plaintiff appears but fails to prove a claim, the assigned judge, without hearing the defendant, shall enter an award for the defendant.
Rule No.16 Dismissal of Actions
Any action commenced before CMA may be dismissed before final adjudication by filing a stipulation of dismissal signed by all parties who have appeared in the action. Unless otherwise state, a stipulated of dismissal is without prejudice.
Rule No. 17 Findings by the CourtAll final award issued by CMA shall be in writing signed by the judge issuing the same. Unless the parties have otherwise agreed, the decision fo the judge shall be final and binding and a judgment may be entered thereon in a public court of appropriate jurisdiction.
All awards shall be rendered within 10 days of the closing of the recorded and shall, providing all parties have paid all requisite fees to CMA, be promptly forwarded by mail to each party or attorney.
Any judge may, upon hearing the issues presented by the parties, render appropriate relief, whether monetary, injunctive or declaratory, provided it is within the scope of the agreement made by the parties.
Because the rules of CMA do not allow unnecessary delays in resolution, no monetary award or other sanction shall be imposed for delay damages or pre-judgment interest.