Client Guide
Attorney Guide

Other Areas:
Business Formation
Agreement Writing
Small Claims
Radio Show
Paralegal Training

Practice Areas:
Wills & Trusts

Office Hours


Agreement to Arbitrate

We ______________________________________________________ _______________________________, by our signatures below, hereby voluntarily agree to participate in arbitration. The Arbiter has explained the process and will provide services to us. We understand and agree to the following guidelines.

Good Faith. We agree to enter into this process in good faith; that is, we will sincerely attempt to resolve the issues at hand by participating fully and genuinely in the search for fair and workable solutions.

Honesty. We agree to be honest and to completely disclose all relevant information and documents concerning this matter to the other party and arbiter. This includes all documentation that would be available through the discovery process in a normal legal proceeding. If either party fails to disclose fully, the decision reached in arbitration may be voided.

Courtesy. We agree to cooperate in the process by remaining courteous throughout the sessions. We will refrain from personal attacks and angry outbursts and will respect the opinions, perceptions, and feelings of the other parties.

Neutrality of Arbiter. We understand that the arbiter serves as a neutral third party whose purpose is to promote communication and help the parties reach a mutually satisfying result. He is not an advocate, attorney, therapist or counselor. His role is that of an objective decision maker.

Independent Advice. We understand that the arbiter encourages us to consult with an attorney regarding our legal interests, rights and obligations before engaging in arbitration if we have not already done so. We have also been advised that consultation with other professionals, such as a tax advisor or financial planner, may be advantageous in protecting our interests. In addition, we understand that a therapist or family counselor could be helpful in addressing emotional and psychological concerns which may accompany involvement in a dispute.

Confidentiality. We understand that the arbitration process requires open and honest communication in order to succeed. Therefore, it si completely confidential, and all written and oral communications made during the process are privileged settlement negotiations. Further:

The arbiter will not reveal anything discussed in the sessions without the permission of both parties. However, he is required to report certain matters, such as incidents of child abuse, abuse of an elderly or incapacitated person or threats of physical violence, and confidentiality does not extend to these matters.

The parties agree that they will not at any time, during or after the arbitration, call the arbiter as a witness in any legal or administrative proceeding concerning this dispute. To the extent that they may have a right to call the arbiter as a witness, that right is hereby waived.

The parties agree not to subpoena or demand the production of any records, notes, work product, etc. of the arbiter in any legal or administrative proceeding covering this dispute. To the extent that they may have a legal right to demand these documents, that right is hereby waived.

If, at a later time, either party decides to subpoena the arbiter, the arbiter will move to quash the subpoena. The initiating party agrees to reimburse the arbiter for whatever expense he incurs in such an action in an amount of not less than $1,000.00.

The exceptions to the above are that this Agreement to Arbitrate and any written decision of the Arbiter may be used in any relevant proceeding, unless the parties specifically agree not to do so prior to the beginning of Arbitration. Also any matter that is admissible in a court of law continues to be admissible even though raised in a arbitration session.

Private Meetings. Neither party may hold private sessions with the arbiter without the express consent of the other.

Finality of Decision. We understand that the decision of the Arbiter, which shall be reduced to writing and presented to each party, is binding unless prior agreement has been made that we are participating in Non-Binding Arbitration. In Binding Arbitration the decision of the Arbiter may be reduced to judgment by the prevailing party. We agree to execute any additional documents that may be necessary for a court of competent jurisdiction to enter such a judgement. This arbitration shall be:

[ ] Binding. [ ] Non-Binding.

Fees. We understand that the fee for arbitration services is $_____ per hour which is due at the end of each session and upon receipt of the final written decision (unless other arrangements are made in advance). Parties are free to share the cost of arbitration however they choose. However, such a decision must be made prior to the beginning of arbitration. If no agreement is reached each party is responsible for their pro-rata share of the hourly fee. We understand that the fee applies to all the time spent by the arbiter in activities related the completion of arbitration including: meeting with parties, research time, telephone calls, preparation of documents, and expenses incurred such as long-distance telephone calls or photocopies.

Cost for arbitration will be paid by each as follows:

__________________________ at $____________ per hour.

__________________________ at $____________ per hour.

__________________________ at $____________ per hour.

__________________________ at $____________ per hour.

Finally, we agree to begin on time, and if a change in appointment time is necessary, to give 24-hour notice to the arbiter or be charged for the schedule timed (not to exceed 2 hours).

Collection. In the event that any of the sums due hereunder and not paid, interest shall accrue thereon at the rate of 18% per annum and Mediator shall be entitled to all costs of collection including a reasonable attorney's fee.

We have read the above agreement and agree to its terms.

______________________________________ Date _______________

______________________________________ Date _______________

______________________________________ Date _______________

______________________________________ Date _______________