14109. Mediation Ground Rules
(a) The following Ground Rules govern the mediation of a matter. The parties to a mediation may agree to amend any or all of the Ground Rules at any time. The Ground Rules are intended to be standards of conduct for the parties and the mediator.
(b) Mediation is voluntary and any party may withdraw from mediation at any time prior to the execution of a written settlement agreement by giving written notice of withdrawal to the mediator, the other parties, and the Director.
(c) The mediator shall act as a neutral, impartial, facilitator of the mediation process and shall not have any authority to determine issues, make decisions or otherwise resolve the matter.
(d) Following the selection of a mediator, the mediator, all parties and their representatives will meet in person or by conference call for all mediation sessions, as determined by the mediator or by mutual agreement of the parties. The mediator shall facilitate, through joint sessions, caucuses and/or other means, discussions between the parties, with the goal of assisting the parties in reaching their own resolution of the matter. The mediator shall determine the procedure for the conduct of the mediation. The parties and their representatives agree to cooperate with the mediator in ensuring that the mediation is conducted expeditiously, to make all reasonable efforts to be available for mediation sessions, and to be represented at all scheduled mediation sessions either in person or through a person with authority to settle the matter.
(e) The mediator may meet with and communicate separately with each party or the party's representative. The mediator shall notify all other parties of any such separate meetings or other communications.
(f) The parties agree to attempt, in good faith, to negotiate a settlement of the matter submitted to mediation. Notwithstanding that a matter is being mediated, the parties may engage in direct settlement discussions and negotiations separate from the mediation process.
(g) Mediation is intended to be private and confidential.
(1) The parties and the mediator agree not to disclose, transmit, introduce, or otherwise use opinions, suggestions, proposals, offers, or admissions obtained or disclosed during the mediation by any party or the mediator as evidence in any action at law, or other proceeding, including a lawsuit or arbitration, unless authorized in writing by all other parties to the mediation or compelled by law, except that the fact that a mediation has occurred shall not be considered confidential.
(2) Notwithstanding the foregoing, the parties agree and acknowledge that the provisions of this paragraph shall not operate to shield from disclosure to FINRA or any other regulatory authority, documentary or other information that FINRA or other regulatory authority would be entitled to obtain or examine in the exercise of its regulatory responsibilities.
(3) The mediator will not transmit or otherwise disclose confidential information provided by one party to any other party unless authorized to do so by the party providing the confidential information.
(h) The parties may agree to use the Party Portal to submit all documents and other communications to each other, to retrieve all documents and other communications, and view mediation case information.
Amended by SR-FINRA-2016-029 eff. April 3, 2017.
Amended by SR-FINRA-2008-021 eff. Dec. 15, 2008.
Renumbered from Rule 14108 by SR-NASD-2006-109 eff. Dec. 24, 2007.
Renumbered from Rule 10409 and amended by SR-NASD-2007-022 eff. April 16, 2007.
Adopted by SR-NASD-2004-013 eff. Jan. 30, 2006.
Selected Notices: 05-85, 07-57, 08-57, 17-03.