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Model Rules for Mediation of Client-Lawyer Disputes - Rule 2

Rule 2 - Mediation Commission

A. Appointment of Commission.

The [highest court of the jurisdiction] shall appoint a Mediation Commission to administer the Mediation Program. The [highest court of the jurisdiction] shall designate one member to serve as Chair of the Commission.

B. Composition.

The Commission shall consist of [six] members, of whom at least one-third shall be nonlawyers. Members shall be appointed for terms of three years except where a vacancy has occurred in which event appointments shall be for the unexpired portion of the term being filled. Appointments shall be on a staggered basis so that the number of terms expiring shall be approximately the same each year. No members shall be appointed for more than two consecutive full terms, but members appointed for less than a full term (either originally or to fill a vacancy) may serve two full terms in addition to such part of a term.

C. Duties of the Commission.

  1. The Commission shall have the following powers and duties to:
     appoint and remove mediators and provide appropriate training;
  2. interpret these rules;
  3. establish written procedures not inconsistent with these rules;
  4. issue an annual report and periodic policy recommendations, as needed, to the [highest court of the jurisdiction] regarding the program;
  5. maintain all records of the Mediation Program;
  6. determine challenges for cause where a mediator has not voluntarily acceded to a challenge;
  7. educate the public and the bar about the Mediation Program;
  8. perform all acts necessary for the effective operation of the program; and
  9. establish fee schedules and oversee financial matters.


Overall authority to administer the Mediation Program is delegated by [the highest court of the jurisdiction] to the Commission. The court should ensure diversity in the membership of the Commission.

The Commission has authority to limit the types of matters accepted for mediation. Personal disputes and business matters where one of the parties is a lawyer but the allegations do not involve the practice of law are not appropriate for mediation under these rules. Mediation of disputes between lawyers is not precluded by these rules where the complaint otherwise meets the guidelines of matters that are appropriate for mediation.

The Commission has the authority to establish reasonable fees for the program and also to waive fees in cases of hardship. No fee should be charged a client if the charging of the fee would unduly restrict the client's access to the mediation process. Additionally, in mediations referred by [the lawyer disciplinary agency], the client should not be charged a fee for participating in the mediation.

With respect to the funding of the mediation program, it is envisioned that there will be minimal costs involved: lawyer and nonlawyer volunteers will be serving as mediators. The Commission may delegate the day-to-day administration of the Mediation Program to staff assigned to the lawyer disciplinary agency. However, a state or local bar association could administer this component of the lawyer regulation system.

Next - Rule 3 - Mediators

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