(a)Alternative Dispute Resolution Choices. Thurston County Superior Court encourages resolution of disputes without trial. To this end, the Court makes Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) available for civil cases in the form of settlement conferences and mediation through the program outlined in this rule. A panel of attorneys and mediators has agreed to facilitate ADR at economical, court approved rates for all parties. Alternatively, the parties may mutually agree to participate in private ADR of their choice.
(b)Family Law Cases. Family law cases are not covered by this rule. Settlement conferences and mediation in family law cases are addressed in LSPR 94.03D and 94.05.
(1)Civil case includes all civil cases except those enumerated in LSPR 94.00.
(2)Settlement conference attorney means an attorney registered on the panel of ADR settlement conference attorneys maintained by the Court under this rule. See Section (g) for qualifications.
(3)Mediator means a person registered on the panel of ADR mediators maintained by the Court under this rule. See Section (g) for qualifications.
(4)Facilitator means a settlement conference attorney or mediator on the appropriate panel for the type of ADR selected.
(5)Private ADR means mediation or other ADR privately arranged and paid for by the parties.
(d)ADR and the Case Schedule Order.
(1)When ADR is a requirement of the Case Schedule Order, at the time of entry of the Case Schedule Order, the type of ADR shall be selected and identified on the Order (Court settlement conference, Court mediation, or private ADR) and a deadline for completion of ADR shall be set
(2)In the event the Court’s ADR program is chosen and identified in the Case Schedule Order, at any time, but no later than 60 days before the ADR deadline, the requesting party shall request that the ADR Coordinator assign a facilitator from the panel maintained by the Court by filing and servinga Request to Participate in ADR and providing a copy to the ADR Coordinator. The parties may stipulate to a facilitator from the panel maintained by the Court.
(3)Within 14 days of being notified of the appointment of the facilitator, the requesting party or its attorney shall schedule the ADR with the facilitator.
(e)Procedures for the Court’s ADR program.
(1) Scope of this section. The requirements of this section and the remainder of this rule apply only to the Court’s ADR program, and not to private ADR. The Court’s ADR program may be requested independent from, and in addition to, the Case Schedule Order.
(2)Requests for ADR. When the Court’s ADR program has not been identified in the Case Schedule Order, any party desiring to participate in the Court’s ADR program shall file a Notice of Request to Participate in ADR and provide a copy to the ADR Coordinator. The Notice form is available on the Court’s web site. The Notice shall designate the ADR model selected (settlement conference or mediation).
(3)Notice. A party requesting to participate in the Court’s ADR program shall serve a copy of the Notice of Request to Participate in ADR and a copy of this rule on all parties, counsel and the ADR Coordinator.
(4)Participation Required. All parties and counsel notified shall be required to participate in the Court’s ADR program, unless an objection is made pursuant to Section 6 below and the Court grants a waiver.
(5)Selection of Facilitator. The ADR Coordinator shall select a facilitator from the panel maintained by the Court. The parties will be notified as soon as the facilitator has been appointed. Alternatively, the parties may stipulate to a facilitator from the panel maintained by the court.
(6)Objection and Waiver. Any party objecting to participation in the Court’s ADR program shall immediately notify all other parties. If the objection is not resolved between the parties within 14 days from the notice of the Request to Participate in ADR, the requesting party shall promptly file a notice of objection and schedule a hearing on the assigned judge’s civil motion calendar. The judge may require ADR or waive participation.
(f) ADR Session.
(1)Scheduling. When the Court’s ADR program is included in the Case Schedule Order, the requesting party shall schedule the ADR directly with the facilitator. When ADR results from a Request to Participate, the requesting party shall also schedule the ADR. Scheduling shall be done within 14 days from assignment of the facilitator. ADR may be conducted at the facilitator’s private office, the courthouse, or any other agreed upon and available location.
(2)Statements. At least three days before the ADR session, each party shall deliver to the facilitator and all other parties or counsel a statement containing a concise discussion of all relevant factual and legal issues presented by the lawsuit. Written statements are not required for mediations conducted by the Thurston County Dispute Resolution Center.
(3)Fees. A fee of $100 per participating party will be charged for the firsttwo hours of the ADR session. The fee is payable to the facilitator by check or money order at the start of the ADR session. Facilitators will charge for additional sessions or time at their customary rates. The initial two-hour session fee may be waived by the Court on proof of indigency.
(4)Participation. All parties and counsel shall attend the ADR session.
(5)ADR Report. Within 5 days after the completion of ADR, the facilitator shall file an ADR Report indicating whether the case has been resolved. A copy of the ADR Report shall be provided to the judicial assistant of the assigned judicial department and to the ADR Coordinator.
(1)Settlement Conference Panel. Settlement conferences shall be conducted by attorneys. To conduct a settlement conference under this rule, an attorney must be a member of the Washington State Bar Association who has been admitted to the Bar for a minimum of 10 years and who has included the type of case assigned in the attorney’s areas of practice for at least 10 years.
(2)Mediator Panel. To mediate under this rule, a mediator must have completed a recognized program with at least 40 hours of instruction or training and be approved by the Court.
[Effective September 1, 1997; amended effective December 30, 1999; June 1, 2000; amended effective September 1, 2004, September 1, 2005, September 1, 2007; September 1, 2018; September 1, 2019.]