Arbitration

Rules of Arbitration

 

maps Rules of Procedure for Arbitrations 

INTRODUCTION

These rules are promulgated and shall be interpreted in such a fashion as to promote a speedy and just resolution of disputes submitted to maps for management and Arbitration. Unless otherwise agreed to by the parties or if legally inapplicable, the Arbitration shall be governed by the Federal Arbitration Act (9 U.S.C. §§ 1- 16).

 

1.  RULES

These Rules shall apply to all Arbitrations submitted to maps. The Claimant(s) and Respondent(s) as well as the Arbitrator shall follow these Rules. These Rules shall apply in the form existing at the time Arbitration is submitted to maps. However, these rules may be amended from time to time to further promote the speedy and just resolution of disputes. All amendments to these rules shall apply to ongoing Arbitrations from the time the parties are notified of the changes.

 

2.  INITIATING UNDER AN ARBITRATION CLAUSE

To initiate an Arbitration with maps, at least one party (the Complainant) to a dispute must contact and furnish maps with the Arbitration Submission Sheet and the following:
a)   The full name(s), phone number(s), street or post office, and electronic address(es) of all parties
b)   A brief description of the dispute
c)   A copy of the contract and/or court order requiring Arbitration
d)  The appropriate filing fee

The initial filing can be via USPS mail, commercial or private delivery, e-mail or fax.

 

3.  SERVICE/METHODS OF DELIVERY

Following the initial documentation, all pleadings and other correspondence shall, if reasonably possible, be via electronic means (e-mail, Drop Box or similar mass attachment program, or fax). If a party does not have access to electronic service, that party shall provide an address to which pleadings and correspondence will be sent. It is the responsibility of the party without access to electronic service to monitor the mail. It shall be presumed that all correspondence and pleadings sent to that address shall be delivered within 3 business days. All deadlines shall be extended by 3 business days in such a case.

 

4.  PLEADINGS AND DELAYS

The Respondent(s) shall serve a response to the claim within 15 calendar days from the date of service along with any cross claims, counter claims and third party claims without the consent of the Complainant. Responses by the Complainant to any counterclaims, reconventional demands, etc. filed by the Respondent shall be served within 15 calendar days from the date of service.

Any pleadings, except motions and exceptions not filed with within the above time frame cannot be filed without consent of the other party(s) or with permission of the Arbitrator, after notice to the other party(s). The Arbitrator may, but is not required to hold a hearing on a parties request to file additional claims, cross claims, counter claims and third party claims.

 

5.  CONDUCT OF PROCEEDINGS

After the proper submission of a dispute, maps will provide parties with administrative and case management services during the Arbitration process. This includes, but is not limited to, providing method of selecting an Arbitrator, communicating information, and providing coordination of scheduling phone conferences, hearings, and dissemination of award.

 

6.  SELECTION OF ARBITRATORS

The case will be decided by one Arbitrator, unless the parties agree to have a three-Arbitrator panel. Parties are urged to agree to a particular Arbitrator. The Case Manager will send a list of maps Arbitrators from which the parties shall make their selection(s). If they are unable to agree, the parties shall cross off any listed Arbitrator they feel is unacceptable, and attach a numerical preference to the remaining Arbitrators in accordance with the instructions sent with the list. This selection process shall be completed and the selection form returned to the Case Manager within 15 calendar days. A party that fails to return the selection form within 15 calendar days waives the right to object to the other party’s selection, except on grounds of bias, conflict of interest, or other grounds that are usual and customary for recusal. Absent extraordinary circumstances, parties may not cross off more than one-half of the number of Arbitrators on the list. The Case Manager will then choose the Arbitrator based on the parties’ numerical preferences more fully explained here and below.

In the event of a numerical tie, maps shall use its discretion in assigning one of the preferred Arbitrators. In the event that all parties fail to return the selection form within the allotted time, the Case Manager shall select the Arbitrator from the list. If one or more, but not all parties, fails to return the selection sheet timely, the Case Manager shall select an Arbitrator based on the preferences of those parties that have timely returned the selection sheet.

 

7.  ARBITRATORS

Arbitrators are independent contractors and not agents or employees of maps.

 

8.  ARBITRATOR’S AUTHORITY

Unless otherwise agreed to by all parties to the dispute, the Arbitrator shall have the broadest authority allowed under the Federal Arbitration Act (9 U.S.C. §§1-16) to conduct the Arbitration process in any manner deemed fair and reasonable to reach a speedy and just determination. In interpreting these rules, the Arbitrator shall be guided by, but is not bound by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. To the extent that the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure cannot or do not apply, the matter will be governed by the applicable State Arbitration Act (e.g. issuance of subpoenas). The Arbitrator’s authority includes, but is not limited to the following:

  1. To order and oversee appropriate discovery, conduct pre-hearing conferences, and order briefs and memoranda
  2. To be the sole judge of the admissibility and weight of the evidence offered by the parties including affidavits
  3. To issue rulings and orders concerning all points of controversy in the dispute
  4. To order and supervise discovery and impose sanctions
9.  CONFIDENTIALITY

All Arbitration proceedings are confidential to the extent allowed by law. The parties and their representatives are prohibited from speaking or otherwise publishing the fact that a case is in Arbitration or the details thereof. In the event that a party violates this provision, the Arbitrator is authorized to hold a hearing to determine if:

  1. party or parties have violated this provision
  2. the violation was willful, or with complete disregard of this provision, or for purposes of harassing the other party or parties
  3. the Arbitration process has been compromised
  4. the other party or parties have been damaged or there is a likely hood of damage resulting to the other party or parties, including embarrassment
  5. sanctions are appropriate

If the Arbitrator finds that any or all of the above conditions have been proven against a party, the Arbitrator may proceed against that party or parties in the same fashion as in Paragraphs 12 and 13.

 

10.  INTERLOCUTORY DISPUTES

During the pendency of the main claim, the parties may have disputes regarding issues such as discovery, medical examinations, etc. These interim disputes shall be submitted to the Arbitrator who, with the assistance of the Case Manager, shall schedule a telephone conference between the Arbitrator and parties. If reasonably possible, the Arbitrator shall render a decision on the interim dispute during the telephone conference.

In the event of an emergency requiring an immediate ruling on an interlocutory matter, and the designated Arbitrator cannot be reached in a timely fashion, the parties hereby appoint and designate any Arbitrator on maps’ published panel of Arbitrators, that does not have a conflict, to rule on the matter. The case manager shall choose a temporary Arbitrator to rule on the emergency matter. Said ruling shall be binding as if issued by the designated Arbitrator. The case manager shall advise the parties of the temporary Arbitrator chosen to make the ruling. The case manager shall give each party a reasonable time, considering the nature of the emergency, to file any objections to the temporary Arbitrator, submit all necessary memoranda, schedule conferences (in person or otherwise), and take any other action necessary to bring the matter to an expeditious conclusion.

 

11.  EX PARTE CONTACT AND IN CAMERA INSPECTIONS

The parties shall not engage in ex parte contact with the Arbitrator on matters concerning the dispute, except in the presence of the other party. All contact with the Arbitrator and/or submissions of documents and evidence shall be made by sending an original to the Arbitrator, a complete copy to all other parties (except as indicated in the following paragraph) and a skeleton copy to the Case Manager. Except as indicated in the following paragraph, the party submitting any document shall certify that copies have been sent in accordance with the previous sentence.

In the event that a party desires an in camera inspection to discuss impeachment of evidence or other matters appropriate for such a discussion, the party must submit this request to the Case Manager along with a copy of the request to the other party in writing if time allows. The reasons for the request need not be divulged to the other party. The matter will then be turned over to the Arbitrator for a decision on whether to hold a private conference and if so, when. The Arbitrator’s decision as to whether to grant the request for an in camera inspection shall be sent to all parties.

Other than mentioned herein, the Arbitrator is likewise prohibited from contact with the parties without the presence of all parties.

 

12.  FAILURE TO PROCEED

Whenever an Arbitration clause, an Arbitration contract, or these rules call for a party to proceed with Arbitration, a party shall be deemed to have failed to proceed when the party:

  1. repeatedly fails to respond to communication from maps and/or the Arbitrator;
  2. fails to proceed to the next step of Arbitration after being requested to do so;
  3. willfully fails to comply with an Arbitrator’s order;
  4. otherwise indicates an intent not to proceed; or,
  5. fails to remit timely maps fees and charges.

 

13.  DEFAULT

The Arbitrator, upon proper showing and notification to the parties, may render an award against any party that fails to proceed with the Arbitration process. The Arbitrator may dismiss the claim, if the claimant fails to proceed or is otherwise in default, or enter an award by default if the respondent fails to proceed or is otherwise in default. The Arbitrator shall not enter an award for relief without a prima facia showing of the party’s right to an award.

 

14.  MATTERS NOT ADDRESSED

Any matter not specifically addressed by these rules, or any conflict or ambiguity in these rules, shall be decided by the Arbitrator.

 

15.  SEVERABILITY

In the event any of the Rules of Procedures are ruled unlawful by statute, the other Rules and procedures are to remain in effect.

 

16.  AWARD

All Arbitration awards will be made in writing. The Arbitrator(s) is (are) not required to provide written opinions or explanations with their decision. However, unless the parties jointly object the Arbitrator shall render reasons.

 

17.  THE AWARD WILL BE FINAL AND BINDING ON ALL PARTIES

An award arising out of the Arbitration or appeal will be the last word, and all parties will be required to comply with the Award without appeal to any court or other forum. The parties further agree that a judgment of the court shall be entered upon the award made pursuant to the Arbitration. Any action to vacate, modify, set aside or enforce the Award must be brought with a United States District Court or appropriate State Court within the time allowed under the appropriate Statute or Act. The parties must look to the appropriate federal or state act to determine the time, grounds and location to file an action to vacate, modify, set aside or enforce the Award.

 

18.  THE AMOUNT AND COLLECTION OF FEES
  1. A copy of the current maps Fee Schedule is attached and incorporated herein by reference.
  2. The parties acknowledge that any agreement between them regarding the payment of Arbitration fees is not binding on maps. Therefore, maps reserves the right to charge the submitting party the appropriate filing fee and all hourly charges incurred prior to other parties agreeing to arbitrate.
  3. All parties and their counsel are jointly and solidarily liable to maps for all fees and costs. maps reserves the right to charge on an interim basis and/or require pre-payment of estimated fees.
  4. The Case Manager may, from time to time during the course of the Arbitration process, submit interim statements for time and expenses already incurred and those reasonably anticipated.
  5. If for any reason the parties do not proceed to Arbitration after initiating a case and agreeing to arbitrate, maps shall be entitled to all fees incurred through the date of closing the matter, including Arbitrator fees.
  6. In the event that one Party has paid more than its share of such fees, compensation and expenses, the Arbitrator may award against any other Party any such fees, compensation and expenses that such Party owes with respect to the Arbitration.
  7. For minor disputes, volunteer Arbitrators are often available. In such cases, the parties are only responsible for maps administrative fee.
  8. The Arbitrator(s) and maps may withhold the award pending the payment of all fees and costs.
  9. AMENDMENT TO THE RULES OF ARBITRATION

With certain exceptions, the rules can be adapted or amended to reach the parties’ needs.

 

20.  RECORDING PROCEEDINGS

Subject to the language below, in the event the Arbitrator wishes to have any part of the Arbitration proceedings recorded and transcribed, the parties shall jointly arrange and pay for a court reporter and transcript. A copy of the transcript shall be provided to the Arbitrator, the cost of which will be borne by the parties. In the event that only one  party desires to record the Arbitration proceeding, that party  shall pay for the transcript, a copy of which will be provided to the Arbitrator without charge to the Arbitrator.  If neither party requests a transcript that the Arbitration proceedings, the Arbitrator may electronically record the proceedings.

 

21.  SUBSTITUTION OF ARBITRATOR

In the event the arbitrator is temporarily absent of otherwise unavailable to act on matters that are ministerial (e.g. signing of subpoenas) the parties to the arbitration agree that such ministerial matters may be handled by the maps arbitration manager (currently, Roger Larue) or the maps case manager with notice to all parties.

In the event an emergency matter arises, the parties agree that they will use reasonable efforts to choose a substitute arbitrator to:

  1. Decide if the matter is one that is time sensitive, and
  2. If so, make a decision on that matter, which can then be reviewed by original arbitrator upon his/her return

If the parties cannot agree on a substitute arbitrator, the party seeking emergency relief, may apply to a court of appropriate jurisdiction to appoint a substitute arbitrator.

  1. Arbitral Immunity

The parties agree that any claims against the arbitrator, maps, its agents and employees are barred by the doctrine of arbitral immunity to the extent the law allows.