CIVIL RULE 2: ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (ADR)
- A. POLICY STATEMENT
B. UNLIMITED CIVIL CASES
C. LIMITED CIVIL CASES
D. MEDIATORS AND NEUTRAL EVALUATORS
- E. COURT-APPROVED ADR PROVIDERS
- F. ADR COMPLIANCE
- G. ADR GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
Many cases can be resolved to the satisfaction of all parties without the necessity of traditional litigation, which can be expensive, time consuming, and stressful. The Court finds that it is in the best interests of the parties that they participate in alternatives to traditional litigation, including arbitration, mediation, neutral evaluation, special masters and referees, and voluntary settlement conferences. Therefore, the Court will refer all general civil cases to an appropriate form of ADR before they are set for trial, unless there is good cause to dispense with the ADR requirement.
The Court and the California Administrative Office of the Courts may not defend or indemnify any ADR provider or neutral who serves on a court related program, or who is listed on a court ADR provider list. ADR providers are encouraged to seek errors and omissions insurance from a qualified insurance provider.
(1) In unlimited civil cases, if all parties have appeared, then all parties may stipulate to any form of ADR at any time. The Court has an ADR Stipulation and Order Form for this purpose. (See attached form CV-5008 .) If the parties submit a signed ADR stipulation at least 15 calendar days before a Case Management Conference, and the Court approves the stipulation and the order is filed, the CMC will be canceled and an ADR Status Conference will be scheduled. A stipulation to a type of ADR other than judicial arbitration will not cancel a Case Management Conference unless it contains the name of the ADR provider and the date on which the ADR will be conducted.
(2) If, at any time, the parties stipulate to a type of ADR other than judicial arbitration, but have not already selected an ADR provider and date, then, within 20 calendar days, plaintiff’s counsel must inform the ADR Administrator in writing of the name of the ADR provider and the date on which the ADR will be conducted. Parties may use the Court's ADR Stipulation and Order Form for this purpose. (See attached form
(3) Parties who have previously stipulated to judicial arbitration may later stipulate to mediation or neutral evaluation by submitting a signed ADR stipulation and proposed order to the case management judge.
(4) If the parties stipulate to judicial arbitration, the arbitrator will be selected pursuant to the procedure outlined in CRC 3.815.
(5) If the parties stipulate to Civil Early Settlement Conference, the procedure will be governed by Local Civil Rule 4.
In limited civil cases, if the parties file a signed ADR stipulation at least 15 calendar days before the first CMC, and the Court approves the stipulation and the order is filed, the Court will cancel the conference and mail notice of an ADR Status Conference. A stipulation to a type of ADR other than judicial arbitration will not cancel the Case Management Conference unless it contains the name of the ADR provider and the date on which the ADR will be conducted. If, prior to the initial Case Management Conference, the parties have not stipulated to a form of ADR, the case management judge will decide the appropriate form of ADR, if any, at the Conference.
(1) The ADR Administrator has a list of Court-approved ADR providers and information about their qualifications, the services they provide, and the fees they charge.
(2) The parties may choose any ADR provider they wish, including a provider who is not on the list of Court-approved ADR providers.
(3) The ADR provider need not be an attorney.
(4) All participants in the ADR process must participate in good faith.
(5) In conducting a session, the ADR provider must require the attendance of persons with full authority to resolve the dispute. The provider may not permit a telephone appearance unless good cause was shown in a timely manner before the session.
(6) Unless the ADR provider's fees and expenses have been fixed by the Court, the parties and the provider must agree on the fees and expenses. The fees and expenses of the ADR provider must be borne by the parties equally, unless they agree otherwise.
(1) Court-approved ADR providers must be available to accept at least one pro bono or modest means case per year.
(2) When an ADR provider is added to the list of court-approved ADR providers, the ADR Administrator will send the following documents to the provider:
a. An ADR Attendance Form;
b. An ADR Provider's Statement - whether an agreement was reached;
c. An ADR Evaluation, to be filled out separately by the parties and their counsel.
(3) At the conclusion of the ADR process, the provider must give copies of the ADR Evaluation to the parties and their counsel. Within the next ten calendar days, the provider must complete the ADR Provider's Statement and send it to the ADR Administrator. A mediator must maintain the Attendance Sheet in compliance with CRC 3.860 (a).
Once a case has been set for an ADR review hearing, it is the Court's expectation that ADR will be completed by the date of the ADR review hearing. Failure to complete the ADR by the date of the ADR review hearing may lead to sanctions up to and including vacation of the ADR order and setting the case for trial or trial setting.
It is the goal of the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara ADR Program to encourage excellence and the highest ethical standards in ADR practice. The Santa Clara Superior Court has established the following procedure for handling grievances regarding the conduct of any neutral serving on any of the Civil Division's ADR programs.
(1) All complaints regarding the conduct of ADR program neutrals must be submitted in writing to the designated Complaint Coordinator under CRC 3.867(a).
(2) When a complaint regarding a neutral is received by the Court, it will be directed to the Complaint Coordinator for processing. The Complaint Coordinator will send a written acknowledgment of the receipt of the complaint to the complainant.
(3) The Complaint Coordinator will assemble available information regarding the complaint, and preliminarily review the complaint to determine the appropriate response. The Complaint Coordinator may respond directly to the complainant, or may refer the complaint to the Civil Supervising Judge for review.
(4) Upon referral from the Complaint Coordinator, the Civil Supervising Judge will promptly review the complaint and determine whether further investigation is appropriate. If the Civil Supervising Judge finds a complain does not warrant further investigation, no further action will be taken.
(5) The Civil Supervising Judge will refer all other complaints to an investigative subcommittee of the Court ADR Committee.
(6) The investigative subcommittee of the ADR Committee will review the complaint, conduct an investigation, and make a recommendation for action to be taken by an appointed subcommittee of the Civil Committee of the Bench. A copy of the complaint will be provided to the neutral, who will be allowed an opportunity to respond. The appointed subcommittee may recommend that no further action be taken on the complaint, that the neutral be counseled, admonished or reprimanded, that further training be required, or that the neutral be suspended or removed from the Court's ADR program panel. The final decision on the appropriate action to be taken, based on this recommendation, will be made by the Presiding Judge or his or her designee The retention of neutrals on the Court’s ADR program panel is at the sole discretion of the Court. The neutral will be notified promptly in writing of the final decision.
(7) Each complainant will be notified promptly in writing of the disposition of the complaint.
(8) All papers filed and proceedings conducted on a complaint against a neutral will be confidential to the same extent the particular ADR procedure is confidential.
(9) Each member of the investigative subcommittee and the appointed subcommittee, as well as the Civil Supervising Judge and the final decision maker on the complaint, will be covered by the disqualification under CRC 3.872.