Arbitration Process Rules

Effective January 18, 2022

To provide the best alternative dispute resolution process available, Alterity ADR maintains a national panel of highly-qualified arbitrators. Alterity strives for a streamlined case initiation and management process to achieve a prompt, efficient, and satisfactory resolution of disputes. The following rules were crafted to effectuate that end.

We have a PDF version here available for download.

Purpose and Scope

These Rules apply to all disputes submitted to Alterity, but, within reason and upon agreement of all parties, Alterity and any arbitrators selected, can be modified to meet the needs of a particular dispute resolution process so long as fundamental due process is preserved. These Rules may be amended or modified by Alterity, again preserving due process.

1. Case Filing

1.1    In order to begin an arbitration proceeding before Alterity ADR, Claimant will file, by mail or email, its case submission form that includes a statement of claims together with a copy of any applicable agreement with an arbitration provision, other relevant agreement, or a Court Order for arbitration.

1.2    The form or statement should include the names and contact information of all parties, any agreed-upon location, if specified, for the arbitration, the nature of the claim(s), and the relief sought, including any dollar amounts.

1.3    With this filing, Claimant will pay the administrative filing fee of $2,000.00, which may be adjusted later as provided by these rules. 

1.4    Claimant also shall send the case submission form and related documents to all named parties on the same day by the same method of delivery. Parties may be represented by counsel who shall inform Alterity and all parties of the representation.

1.5    The day that Alterity ADR confirms that all filing requirements have been met will be considered the filing date. This filing date will be communicated to all parties and will trigger the deadline for filing an Answer and any Counterclaim as discussed below. The Claimant may amend its claim once as a matter of right at any time before or within 21 days after filing and service of an answer or other responsive document unless the parties agree otherwise.

2. Answer and Counterclaim

2.1    The Respondent’s deadline for filing an Answer and Counterclaim, if any, with Alterity ADR will be 21 days after the filing date or the date of any amended Claim, whichever is later. The arbitrator may allow for subsequent additional amendments for good cause shown. 

2.2    If Respondent fails to file a timely Answer and Counterclaim, the proceeding will not be delayed.

2.3    If Respondent files an Answer with a Counterclaim, Respondent also must pay an administrative filing fee of $2,000.00 attributable to the Counterclaim. Such payment will be made with the filing of the Counterclaim and may be adjusted as provided by these rules.

2.4    Respondent shall send a copy of any Answer and Counterclaim to the Claimant the same day as it files it with Alterity ADR using the same method of delivery as used to file with Alterity.

2.5    If the Respondent does not wish to proceed with the arbitration before Alterity ADR, Respondent must state so in writing and provide the grounds for the objection before the deadline for filing the Answer and Counterclaim. Such written objection will toll any filing deadlines until Alterity ADR may rule on the objection. If Respondent fails to timely object, it waives any such objection.

3. Initial Conference and Arbitrator Selection

3.1    Alterity ADR will conduct an initial conference, which may be virtual, with the parties within 7 days after the deadline for filing an Answer and Counterclaim. The conference will address a) the desired qualifications and selection of the arbitrator; b) location, including virtual, and governing law; c) any jurisdictional issues and d) any other issues raised by the parties that Alterity ADR determines should be addressed prior to the selection of an arbitrator.

3.2    The case manager will discuss the qualifications and selection of the arbitrator. If the parties did not mutually agree on an arbitrator prior to filing, Alterity ADR will provide a list of qualified arbitrators for ranking by the parties. Alterity ADR will appoint one neutral arbitrator unless the parties agree otherwise or provide a contract specifying the number of arbitrators. Once an arbitrator is selected, the parties will have the opportunity to be heard on any potential conflicts of interest. See Conflicts of Interest. Alterity ADR reserves the right to limit the number of strikes and establish all deadlines regarding arbitrator appointment on a case-by-case basis.

4. Scheduling Conference

4.1    The arbitrator or arbitrators selected will collaborate with the Parties to implement a streamlined schedule for an efficient arbitration. Once the arbitrator or panel has been selected, a procedural scheduling conference will be scheduled promptly to address the following:

4.1.1    Discovery; subpoenas; scheduling and format of potential hearings; scheduling of the arbitration hearing; motions deadlines; confidentiality concerns; expert witnesses and deadlines; production of controlled witnesses, disclosure of evidence, pre/post-hearing briefs; and any miscellaneous items and or concerns by the parties.

4.2    The arbitrator has the authority to schedule and conduct hearings regarding discovery disputes. The arbitrator’s ruling(s) will be binding on the parties.

4.3    The parties and the arbitrator or panel may agree to procedures as addressed herein or, within reason and consistent with due process, may agree to different procedures.

5. Fees and Costs

5.1    After the procedural scheduling call, the arbitrator will make an initial estimate of the time and fees anticipated through the hearing.

5.2    Each party will ordinarily pay its pro-rata portion of the arbitrator’s fees and Alterity ADR may require that the parties deposit an advance against the estimate of such fees and Alterity ADR’s costs pursuant to the engagement agreement with the Parties. Fees and costs may be modified to meet the needs of individual cases.

5.3    If the arbitrator determines that an additional fee or deposit is necessary, the parties will be alerted and shall make the additional deposit in advance of the hearing.

5.4    After the matter is concluded the parties will be billed for any amounts outstanding or any amounts in excess of the estimated fees paid.

5.5    All payments are expected from the parties’ attorneys regardless of whether their clients have provided them funds to satisfy the invoices.

5.6    The arbitrator has the authority to determine which party is the prevailing party and determine what attorneys’ fees, costs and arbitration initiation fees, if any, should be paid by which party.

6. Mediation

6.1    The parties may decide they want to mediate the matter before proceeding with the full arbitration process.

6.2    If the parties decide to mediate after initiating the arbitration proceeding such mediation will not delay the arbitration scheduling and proceeding unless the parties agree otherwise.

6.3    The mediator who mediates the matter will not serve as an arbitrator unless the parties agree otherwise.

7. Conflict of Interest

7.1    Any panel member to be appointed as an arbitrator, as well as the parties and their representatives, must disclose to Alterity ADR any potential conflicts or circumstance that could lead to doubt about the arbitrator’s neutrality and impartiality such as a financial or personal interest in the outcome of the arbitration or connection to a party or counsel. This includes disclosure of any past relationship with the parties or the parties’ representatives.

7.2    If a party believes the proposed or selected arbitrator has a conflict of interest, the party will submit comments regarding the conflict to Alterity ADR.

7.3    Alterity ADR will make the decision as to whether a conflict exists, and that decision will be final.

7.4    Alterity ADR will address any new conflicts as they arise and are brought to Alterity ADR’s attention and documented in writing.

7.5    Failure on the part of the parties or representatives to make a timely objection in writing could result in a waiver of the party’s right to object to an arbitrator.

8. Communications

8.1    No party and no one acting on behalf of any party may communicate ex-parte with an arbitrator or a candidate being considered as an arbitrator concerning the arbitration.

8.2    All documents or correspondence sent to the arbitrator shall be sent to the other party and to Alterity ADR at the same time via the same methods of delivery.

8.3    Alterity ADR may communicate ex-parte with the parties or their representatives regarding administrative matters.

9. Powers of the Arbitrator

9.1    The arbitrator has the authority to issue any orders necessary to enforce these rules and to otherwise achieve prompt, efficient, and satisfactory resolution of the case. Any disputes regarding jurisdictional issues, including validity and interpretation of a contract or proper parties shall be resolved by the arbitrator. The arbitrator may modify any deadlines in these Rules except the timeline for the award.

9.2    The arbitrator’s authority includes the authority to rule on whether conditions for arbitration have been met, the appropriate jurisdiction and location, including virtual, authority to protect confidential information by whatever means deemed fit by the arbitrator; determining reasonable search parameters for electronic and other documents if the parties are unable to agree; and allocating costs of producing documentation including electronically stored documentation, as well as any other, similar issues.

9.3    Sometimes a party does not play by the rules. Don’t be that party. The arbitrator may award sanctions if a party willfully does not comply with any order issued by the arbitrator or if a party fails to comply with its obligations under these rules. These sanctions may include, but are not limited to, monetary sanctions, exclusion of evidence and other submissions, special allocations of costs, issuance of an interim award of costs arising from such non-compliance, and any other enforcement orders under applicable law. 

10. Hearing

10.1    The arbitrator is responsible for determining the time, date, means of communication, and location for the hearing.

10.2    The parties will respond timely to requests for hearing dates, be cooperative with regard to scheduling and comply with the established hearing schedule.

10.3    Alterity ADR will send the notice of hearing by e-mail to the parties at least 10 business days in advance of a hearing date unless determined otherwise by the arbitrator. Alterity ADR may ask the parties to confirm receipt of the email. 

10.4    The arbitration shall proceed pursuant to the Federal Rules of Evidence unless the parties agree, in writing, to apply another set of evidentiary rules.

10.5    The parties may agree to waive the hearing and submit the matter using written submissions.

10.6    The arbitration proceedings and hearing are confidential and Alterity ADR and the arbitrator will maintain the privacy of the hearings unless the law provides otherwise.

10.7    Any person having a direct interest in the arbitration is allowed to attend the hearing.

10.8    The arbitrator has the exclusive power to exclude any witness other than a party or other essential person during the testimony of any other witness. It shall be within the arbitrator’s discretion to determine the appropriateness of any other person to be in attendance. 

11. Oath

11.1    The arbitrator will require witnesses to testify under oath administered by a duly qualified person if it is required by law or requested by any party.

12. Stenographic Record

12.1    If a party wants to engage a stenographer, they will make the arrangements and notify the arbitrator and opposing party in advance. If the transcript will serve as the record, it must be shared with all. Any cost allocation issues may be resolved by arbitrator.

13. Injunctive Relief

13.1    The arbitrator has the power to issue interim or permanent injunctive relief to alleviate irreparable harm as the arbitrator sees fit subject to governing law.

13.2    A party seeking injunctive relief must notify the opposing party and Alterity ADR at the same time that it notifies the arbitrator. 

13.3    If the arbitrator finds injunctive relief appropriate, the arbitrator may require the posting of a bond or a security deposit related to the same.

14. Close of Evidence and Arguments

14.1    The hearing will be concluded when the arbitrator confirms with the parties that all evidence, testimony and briefing has been submitted.

14.2    The conclusion of the hearing will trigger the time period for the deadline for the arbitrator to issue a ruling.

15. Deadline for Ruling

15.1    The arbitrator will issue a ruling no later than thirty (30) days from the closing of the hearing. The arbitrator will determine the closing date and has the authority to reopen the hearing if reasonably necessary.

15.2    In the event the matter requires additional time, the parties and the arbitrator may agree to extend this deadline for an additional 30 days.

16. Enforcement of the Award

16.1    If a proceeding is necessary to enforce, vacate, or modify the Award, such proceeding will be governed, as applicable, by state law and 9 U.S.C. Sec 1, et seq. Such proceedings will be filed in the relevant state or federal court.

17. Disqualification of the Arbitrator and Alterity ADR

17.1    The Parties will not call or serve process on the arbitrator or Alterity ADR as a witness or document custodian in any capacity to any proceeding related to the arbitration or related to the subject matter of the arbitration.

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