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The undersigned parties, attorneys and/or representatives, and participants agree to participate and commit themselves to first a mediated negotiation of the issues involved in this matter and, should resolution not be reached, to proceed to a binding arbitration.  We agree to employ the services of [neutral’s name], who agrees to serve as both mediator and arbitrator of our dispute. We acknowledge receipt of MDRS’s Mediation Guidelines and Arbitration Rules and agree that they are applicable to this Mediation-Arbitration process.

We further agree to the following:

A. We acknowledge and agree that the mediator/arbitrator’s work product, memoranda and case file shall be confidential and not subject to disclosure in any judicial, administrative or private proceeding. We agree that the mediator/arbitrator will not be called as a witness in any subsequent court or administrative action.

B. We agree that any and all communications made in the course of mediation process relating to the subject matter being mediated shall be a confidential communication and not subject to disclosure in any judicial, administrative or private proceeding.

C. We agree that the mediator/arbitrator, and MDRS shall not be liable to us for any act or omission in connection with services performed under this agreement.  The parties hereby waive any objections to their chosen neutral serving in the dual role as mediator and then arbitrator of this matter.

D. Each party agrees that the person(s) or representative(s) with full authority to resolve and settle this dispute will attend the mediation session. All parties and MDRS must be advised in advance of the mediation session if any person(s) or representative(s) with needed full settlement authority cannot attend the mediation session.

E. If at any time during the mediation process, the parties mutually request the mediation to end or if the mediator determines that there is no further purpose to be served by the mediation process, the mediator will declare the mediation ended.  After a termination is made, the mediator will terminate any further ex parte contact with the parties and/or their counsel, and the matter shall proceed to binding arbitration with  the chosen neutral serving as arbitrator.

F. The arbitration hearing will be scheduled at a time and place mutually agreeable to all involved.

G. Each party agrees that the arbitrator’s award is binding in all respects upon all parties and may be entered as a final judgment in any court of competent jurisdiction.

H. The parties agree that no information shared or submitted at the mediation session, whether in joint session or in private caucuses with the mediator are to be considered as evidence in the event that an arbitration hearing is required.  Rather, the arbitrator shall hear and determine the controversy upon the evidence submitted at the arbitration hearing only and shall have the ultimate responsibility to determine the relevancy and admissibility of all evidence. The parties agree that the hearings shall be conducted by the arbitrator in any manner which permits a fair presentation of each party’s position. The parties agree that after they have been given an opportunity to offer proof of their claims and contentions, the arbitrator shall declare the arbitration hearing closed and no further proof shall be taken nor heard. Any party who proceeds through the arbitration after knowledge that any provision or requirement of this paragraph has not been complied with or fails to object in writing, shall be deemed to have waived the objection.

I. The arbitrator’s award shall be in writing and shall be signed by the arbitrator.

J. The parties acknowledge and agree that the arbitrator’s work product and case file shall be confidential and not subject to disclosure in any judicial, administrative or private proceeding. The undersigned parties further agree that the arbitrator and MDRS shall not be liable to any party for any act or omission in connection with services performed under this agreement.

K. The undersigned parties agree that should any party violate this agreement, that party shall indemnify the mediator/arbitrator and MDRS for any and all resulting costs.

L. The undersigned parties agree that they shall pay MDRS pre-payment fees in full upon submission of this case. Services beyond the pre-payment fee coverage will be invoiced post-session, or as agreed.  In the event that this matter does not resolve at the mediation session and an arbitration hearing is required the undersigned parties agree to pay MDRS for an arbitration hearing with those pre-payment fees payable in full upon confirmation of that portion of the case. The parties further agree to all terms as stated in the MDRS Fee Schedule that is provided separately.

M. This Mediation/Arbitration Agreement may be executed in several counterparts, each of which shall be deemed an original, but all of which shall be considered one and the same valid and enforceable agreement.