A self-administered process is designed to proceed without the involvement of a separate administering entity. Instead, the neutral(s) and parties, themselves, administer the proceedings. The process may also involve an ADR provider entity, which simply assists with the selection of neutrals if called upon by the parties’ agreement or if for some reason the parties are unable to select a neutral. The selected neutral manages all aspects of the proceedings not controlled by the parties under their agreement, including keeping the necessary files, arranging the location of the proceedings, and agreeing upon a neutral fee and collection process. The proceedings may follow institutional rules and procedures, such as those outlined in CPR’s Rules for Non-Administered Arbitration and the CPR Mediation Procedure, or may adhere to a procedure defined by and agreed to by the parties. A major advantage of this approach is that such proceedings typically cost less than institutional processes because there is no need to pay an institution a percentage of the claim as a filing fee, or indeed any fees, if the parties can proceed on their own without an institution’s intervention.
Assisted Dispute Resolution
For those using a self-administered approach, situations may arise in which limited administration may be needed for a given type of matter. In these instances, assisted dispute resolution services – like customized neutral selection services, fund holding, award review, and serving non-respondents – may be provided upon request of the parties. In this approach, parties only pay for the services that they use. By merging the flexibility of a self-administered resolution process with occasional administrative support, the assisted resolution approach offers parties the best of both worlds.
For a fee, CPR can act on behalf of all parties to help select a neutral that is ideally-suited to the case – and one that is acceptable to all sides. CPR assists parties via four primary selection services:
1. List of Neutral Candidates
By default, CPR’s Rules and self-administered processes provide that the parties may choose their mediator or party-appointed arbitrator without assistance. However, selecting a neutral can be daunting. CPR maintains an extensive and detailed neutrals database which can be searched to identify neutrals who specifically fit parties requirements in terms of experience, credentials, language ability, and geographic location. Once criteria have been entered into the database, CPR simply provides biographies and contact information for the neutrals meeting parties specific needs. The parties, then, proceed using their own selection process.
2. Vetted List of Neutral Candidates
The greatest burden faced by parties is to expeditiously find an agreed-upon neutral with no conflicts of interest and one who will be available when the parties want their arbitration hearing or mediation to take place. With its thorough vetting process, CPR can pre-screen neutral candidates for conflicts and availability and submit to parties a list of vetted candidates including biographical information, hourly rates, disclosures, and responses to special queries from the parties. The parties may then proceed with their own selection process or follow a traditional ranking. If needed, CPR offers consulting services to help parties craft a customized neutral selection process. (See below for vetting process)
3. Screened Arbitrator Selection
CPR’s Rule 5.4 for Non-Administered Arbitration provides a unique mechanism for the constitution of a tripartite tribunal whereby parties select their party-appointed arbitrators without the candidates knowing which party designated them. In this process, CPR handles all communications with the party candidates to ensure confidentiality. This screened selection process offers an additional layer of protection to parties with respect to the impartiality of the neutrals. When the parties provide for CPR screened arbitrator selection in their ADR clause, CPR can assist them throughout the selection of party-appointed arbitrators and a chair. (See below for vetting process)
4. Direct Appointments
Acting as a widely-respected and independent organization, CPR can directly appoint an arbitrator or a mediator when the parties provide for a direct appointment in their contract or at the parties’ request after the dispute has arisen. In that case, CPR will select a neutral who is fully qualified to resolve the dispute and who has been screened for conflicts and availability.
In many cases, a neutral can be appointed within 1-4 weeks depending on the process used. An expedited selection means a more efficient and less costly process for all parties.
|CPR’s “Vetting”/Selection Process|
|Profiling||CPR works with counsel to develop a detailed profile of the qualifications and experience of the neutrals needed. This due diligence also includes a discussion of the complexity and issues involved in the dispute and the potential for resolution. At this time, parties agree on a venue and a time period for hearing the matter (if not already confirmed). Parties can also agree on special queries to be made to the candidates.|
|Identification||CPR searches its database, including a thorough review of the neutrals’ substantive and procedural qualifications, to identify neutrals who best meet the parties’ desired requirements.|
|Query||CPR prepares a list of potential neutrals and queries them to determine their availability and willingness to serve, as well as to identify any potential conflicts. Any special queries are made at this time.|
|Nomination||Based on the responses received to its neutrals query, CPR provides parties with a list of candidates who are conflict-free and available for the hearing calendar window that the parties prefer. The list is submitted together with biographical information, hourly rates, any disclosures, and responses to special queries.|
|Ranking||Absent party agreement to a different process, if parties are unable to agree on a neutral from the list, they rank their preferences, and CPR selects the nominee with the highest combined ranking.|
|Selection||CPR notifies the selected panelist, who contacts counsel directly to begin the dispute resolution process. The neutral assumes responsibility for both directing and administering the ADR proceedings.|
|Assistance||CPR remains available to address later arising challenges.|