Informal Mediation is the beginning of the formal DRC procedures. It imposes certain filing requirements as well as a twenty-one day timeframe within which the parties work towards a resolution.
Informal mediation affords both parties with an opportunity to submit a written account of what transpired along with supporting documentation. Once both disputants have had a chance to contribute, DRC staff will help them reach an amicable, voluntary settlement. If the parties cannot agree to settle their dispute, a formal mediation or an arbitration option may be elected.
Formal Mediation is an option that can be used regardless of the dollar value of the claim. Both parties must agree to use this option and the mediation is carried out by an independent third party mediator that can be selected from a roster maintained by DRC. If the parties do not agree to use formal mediation or should a mediation not succeed in generating a settlement acceptable to both parties then either party may proceed with arbitration.
Unlike arbitration, all of the details of a formal mediation remain confidential. If a party later defaults on their obligations, the terms of the settlement can be enforced the same as an arbitration award provided the parties execute a written settlement agreement with the mediator.
The Dispute Resolution Rules govern the mediation and arbitration process. They outline step-by-step how to proceed with a claim, including statute of limitations, mediator/arbitrator appointments, submitting evidence, the fee schedule and more.