Model Rules for Mediation of Client-Lawyer Disputes - Rule 3


A. List of Approved Mediators.
The Commission shall maintain a list of approved mediators, both lawyers and nonlawyers, and shall adopt written standards for the appointment of the mediators. Mediators should represent all segments of the profession and the general population, including diversity on the basis of race, gender, and practice setting. Mediators shall be appointed for terms of [three] years and may be reappointed. The Commission may remove a mediator from the list of approved mediators for good cause, and may appoint a replacement member to serve the balance of the term of the removed member.

B. Conflicts of Interest.
Within [20] days of the notification of appointment as a mediator, and prior to the initiation of the mediation, the mediator shall notify the Commission if he or she has previously acted as a mediator in the proceeding or in any other related proceeding or of any conflict of interest with a party to the mediation as defined in the [Code of Judicial Conduct] with respect to part-time judges. Upon notification of the conflict, the Commission shall appoint a replacement from the list of approved mediators.

C. Challenges for Cause.
If either party has cause to object to participation by a mediator, a substitute shall be appointed by the Commission. A challenge for cause shall be filed within [15] days after service of the notice of appointment. A mediator shall accede to a reasonable challenge and the Commission shall appoint a replacement. If a mediator does not voluntarily accede, the Commission shall decide whether to appoint a replacement. The decision of the Commission on challenges shall be final.

D. Duties.
The mediator shall have powers and duties to:
(1) grant extensions of time as deemed appropriate;
(2) reschedule or terminate the mediation if a party fails to appear; and
(3) perform all acts necessary to conduct an effective mediation conference.


Written standards for the appointment of mediators should ensure appropriate training and experience for mediators as well as diversity in the background and experience of the mediators. Mediators should also be dispersed throughout the jurisdiction to increase access to the mediation process.

Mediators should be required to attend an appropriate training course, as determined by the Commission, which should include training in mediation theory, skills and the applicable provisions of the rules of professional conduct.

Mediators exercise a quasi-judicial role and should, therefore, be disqualified upon the same grounds and conditions applicable to part-time judges. The decisions of the mediators should be free from any appearance of outside influence.

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