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Legal Information: Maryland

Statutes: Maryland

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Updated: 
November 10, 2020

Rule 17-102. Definitions

In this Title, the following definitions apply except as expressly otherwise provided or as necessary implication requires:

(a) ADR. “ADR” means “alternative dispute resolution.”

(b) ADR Organization. “ADR organization” means an entity, including an ADR unit of a court, that is designated by the court to select individuals with the applicable qualifications required by Rule 9-205 or the Rules in this Title to conduct a non-fee-for-service ADR ordered by the court.

(c) ADR Practitioner. “ADR practitioner” means an individual who conducts ADR under the Rules in this Title.

(d) Alternative Dispute Resolution. “Alternative dispute resolution” means the process of resolving matters in pending litigation through arbitration, mediation, neutral case evaluation, neutral factfinding, settlement conference, or a combination of those processes.

(e) Arbitration. “Arbitration” means a process in which (1) the parties appear before one or more impartial arbitrators and present evidence and argument to support their respective positions, and (2) the arbitrators render an award that is not binding unless the parties agree otherwise in writing.

Committee note: Under the Federal Arbitration Act, the Maryland Uniform Arbitration Act, the International Commercial Arbitration Act, and at common law, arbitration awards are binding unless the parties agree otherwise.

(f) Fee-For-Service. “Fee-for-service” means that a party will be charged a fee by an ADR practitioner designated by a court to conduct ADR.

(g) Mediation. “Mediation” means a process in which the parties work with one or more impartial mediators who, without providing legal advice, assist the parties in reaching their own voluntary agreement for the resolution of all or part of a dispute.

Cross reference: For the role of the mediator, see Rule 17-103.

(h) Mediation Communication. “Mediation communication” means a communication, whether spoken, written, or nonverbal, made as part of a mediation, including a communication made for the purpose of considering, initiating, continuing, reconvening, or evaluating a mediation or a mediator.

(i) Neutral Case Evaluation. “Neutral case evaluation” means a process in which (1) the parties, their attorneys, or both appear before an impartial evaluator and present in summary fashion the evidence and arguments to support their respective positions, and (2) the evaluator renders an evaluation of their positions and an opinion as to the likely outcome of the litigation.

(j) Neutral Expert. “Neutral expert” means an individual with special expertise to provide impartial technical background information, an impartial opinion, or both in a specific area.

(k) Neutral Fact-Finding. “Neutral fact-finding” means a process in which (1) the parties, their attorneys, or both appear before an impartial individual and present the evidence and arguments to support their respective positions as to disputed factual issues, and (2) the individual makes findings of fact as to those issues that are not binding unless the parties agree otherwise in writing.

(l) Settlement Conference. “Settlement conference” means a conference at which the parties, their attorneys, or both appear before an impartial individual to discuss the issues and positions of the parties in an attempt to agree on a resolution of all or part of the dispute by means other than trial. A settlement conference may include neutral case evaluation and neutral fact-finding, and the impartial individual may recommend the terms of an agreement.