Saturday, February 28, 2015     
  Mediation/Arbitration of Disputes 

Mediation/Arbitration of Disputes between Attorneys (SCR 3.815)

SCR 3.815 provices a procedure for resolution of disputes arising among or between attorneys from their professional and economic relationships.  The procedure is voluntary, and available only if the parties certify in writing their good faith prior unsuccessful attempts to settle the dispute, and bind themselves to submit the controversy to mediation or arbitration as approvriate.  If binding arbitration is the procedure selected, the parties must agree to be fully bound by the decision and/or award.

The provisions of SCr 3.815 may not be used if the dispute is the subject of pending litigation, unless the parties agree to follow the procedures of KRS 417.060.

The Vice President of the Board of Governors shall review the petition filed by one of the parties to determine whether jurisdiction will be accepted.  The decision of the Vice President regarding jurisdiction is final.  If mediation is selected, and all parties agree to submit to it, one practicing attorney shall be appointed mediator. 

If arbitration is selected, and all parties agree, the amount in controversy determines the composition of the panel.  If the amount in controversery is $2,500 or less, one practicing attorney shall be appointed as sole arbritrator.  The arbitrator shall maintain his or her practice more than 50 miles distant from the county seat of the county where the parties practice.  If the  amount in controversy exceeds $2,500, a panel of three practicing attorneys shall be appointed.  Each panel member shall practice more than 50 miles from the county seat of the county where the parties practice.

The KBA's Consumer Assistance Program serves as the record-keeper and provides administrative services to participants in a mediation/arbitration procedure.  Except for communication during a hearing, all oral or written communications between the parties and the panel members on the subject of the arbitration shall be directed to the KBA Consumer Assistance Program's office for transmittal.

Disputes subjected to mediation, if successful, will result in an agreement between the parties.  That agreement will be reduced to writing and executed by the parties, and have the same force and effect as a judgement rendered by a Kentucky court.

Where arbitration is selected, and an award is rendered, KRS 417.180 and the terms of the award govern the effect and enforcement of its provisions.  If the parties elect to submit to the non-binding arbitration, they may agree to have the award bind them and be entered and enforced as a judgment.

All records, documents, and files associated with proceedings under SCR 3.815, including the award, are confidential.  By submitting to the proceedings, the parties agree to such confidentiality.

By agreeing to proceedings under SCR 3.815, the parties agree to indemnify and to hold harmless the hearing officer, arbitrator, mediator or presiding officer of any panel concerning any action arising out of the proceedings and for all their conduct.
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