Rule 3. Assignment to mediator.
(A) Parties may stipulate to use a private mediator who is not on the panel of mediators assigned to the program, or who is on the panel but who has agreed to serve on a private basis. The private mediator must possess the qualifications as stated in Rule 4 and must present a résumé demonstrating said qualifications to the commissioner prior to serving as mediator. Such stipulation must be made and filed with the commissioner no later than the date set for the return of the mediator selection list. The stipulation must include an affidavit that is signed and verified by the mediator 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 mediator, 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 mediator shall be borne by the parties equally.
(C) Unless the parties have stipulated to a mediator pursuant to subdivision (A), the commissioner shall serve the two adverse appearing parties with identical lists of 3 mediators selected at random from the panel of mediators assigned to the program.
(1) Thereafter the parties shall, within 10 days, file with the commissioner either a private mediator stipulation and affidavit or each party shall file the selection list with no more than one name stricken.
(2) If both parties respond, the commissioner shall appoint a mediator from among those names not stricken.
(3) If only one party responds within the 10-day period, the commissioner shall appoint a mediator from among those names not stricken.
(4) If neither party responds within the 10-day period, the commissioner shall appoint one of the 3 mediators.
(5) If there are more than 2 adverse parties, one additional mediator 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 the selection process outlined above fails for any reason, including a recusal by the mediator, the commissioner shall repeat the process set forth in subdivision (C) of this rule to select an alternate mediator.
[Added; effective March 1, 2005.]