Rule 6. Assignment to arbitrator.
(A) Parties may stipulate to use a private arbitrator or arbitrators who are not on the panel of arbitrators assigned to the program, or who are on the panel but who have agreed to serve on a private basis. Such stipulations must be made and filed with the commissioner no later than the date set for the return of the arbitration selection list and may require the use of any alternative dispute resolution procedure to resolve the dispute. The stipulation must include an affidavit that is signed and verified by the arbitrator expressing his or her willingness to comply with the timetables set forth in these rules. Failure to file a timely stipulation shall not preclude the use of a private arbitrator, but may subject the dilatory parties to sanctions by the commissioner.
(B) Any and all fees or expenses related to the use of a private arbitrator, or the use of any other alternative dispute resolution procedure, shall be borne by the parties.
(C) Unless a request for exemption is filed, the commissioner shall serve the two adverse appearing parties with identical lists of 5 arbitrators selected at random from the panel of arbitrators assigned to the program.
(1) Thereafter, the parties shall, within 10 days, file with the commissioner either a private arbitrator stipulation and affidavit or each party shall file the selection list with no more than two (2) names stricken.
(2) If both parties respond, the commissioner shall appoint an arbitrator from among those names not stricken.
(3) If only one party responds within the 10-day period, the commissioner shall appoint an arbitrator from among those names not stricken.
(4) If neither party responds within the 10-day period, the commissioner will appoint one of the 5 arbitrators.
(5) If there are more than 2 adverse parties, 2 additional arbitrators per each additional party shall be added to the list with the above method of selection and service to apply. For purposes of this rule, if several parties are represented by one attorney, they shall be considered as one party.
(D) If a request for exemption is filed and denied, the commissioner shall, within 5 days after the time has expired for filing an objection to the commissioner’s denial of the request, or within 5 days after the district judge’s decision on such an objection, serve the parties with identical lists of 5 arbitrators as provided in subsection (C) of this rule.
(E) Where an arbitrator is assigned to a case and additional parties subsequently appear in the action, the additional parties may object to the arbitrator assigned to the case within 10 days of the date of the party’s appearance in the action. Objections must be in writing, state specific grounds, be served on all other appearing parties and filed with the commissioner, who will review the objections and render a decision. This decision may be appealed to the district judge to whom the case is assigned. The notice of appeal shall be filed with the commissioner within 10 days of the date of service of the commissioner’s decision. The commissioner shall then notify the district judge of the appeal.
(F) If the selection process outlined above fails for any reason, including a recusal by the arbitrator, the commissioner shall repeat the process set forth in subdivision (C) of this rule to select an alternate arbitrator.
[Added; effective July 1, 1992; amended effective January 1, 2005.]