Intelligent Justice Adjudication Rules And Procedures
1. COMMENCEMENT OF THE ADJUDICATION PROCESS
- 1.1. The adjudication process will commence immediately after Intelligent Justice and the parties to the legal dispute (the "Parties") execute the Intelligent Justice Dispute Adjudication Agreement.
- 1.2. After consultation with the Parties and with their unanimous agreement, Intelligent Justice will appoint an experienced adjudicator who will be responsible for the adjudication of the Parties' legal dispute (the "Adjudicator").
- 1.3. The Adjudicator's sole objective is to expeditiously arrive at an appropriate resolution of the Parties' legal dispute. Neither the Adjudicator nor Intelligent Justice is obliged to provide legal advice to any of the Parties or to represent them in any capacity.
- 1.4. The Adjudication of the Parties' legal dispute will be conducted expeditiously wherever and whenever material witnesses and relevant evidence become available to the Adjudicator.
- 1.5. One of the goals of the Intelligent Justice adjudication process is to eliminate or dramatically reduce the need for the Parties to employ legal counsel to act as advocates in adversary proceedings. Hence, there is no requirement that the Parties employ attorneys to act on their behalf at any time. The Parties are free, however, to employ counsel periodically for whatever purposes they desire so long as such legal counsel advance, and do not impede, the adjudication process as directed by the Adjudicator. Intelligent Justice affirmatively encourages the use of separate counsel only to provide advice concerning the initial decision to employ Intelligent Justice, assist in framing the scope of the Parties claims, defenses and remedies sought, and help in the evaluation of any settlement options that may be considered by the Parties.
- 1.6. The Parties are encouraged to communicate directly with the Adjudicator for any purpose that advances the adjudication process. Substantive written or electronic communications should be copied to all other Parties. Substantive verbal communications should be made with the participation of all other Parties. However, after reasonable notice of the scheduling of a meeting, witness interview or telephone conference has been provided, it may be assumed that any Party that fails to participate has waived the opportunity to do so.
- 1.7. During the process of adjudicating the Parties' dispute the Adjudicator may consider any documents, electronic records, physical evidence, sworn testimony or other information permitted under the provisions of the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. Sec. 1 et seq. (the "Evidence").
- 1.8. The Adjudicator may make use of expert witnesses having specialized training, experience or education in the subject matter of the dispute, other legal professionals and clerical staff to assist in the gathering, review and analysis of relevant Evidence and legal authority, however, the Adjudicator shall have final responsibility for the review and analysis of all material necessary for the adjudication of the dispute.
- 1.9. The scope of the dispute to be adjudicated by Intelligent Justice will be limited to those matters that are reasonably related to the facts, circumstances and issues described in the Intelligent Justice Dispute Adjudication Agreement or any attachment to it. The final determination of the proper scope of the dispute to be adjudicated will be within the sole discretion of the Adjudicator.
2. GATHERING THE EVIDENCE
- 2.1. The Adjudicator may consider any Evidence gathered as it becomes available. It will not be necessary for the Parties to present the Evidence in a separate trial or other proceeding.
- 2.2. The Parties are obliged to immediately provide the Adjudicator and the Adjudicator's staff with voluntary, prompt and unrestricted access to all information in the Parties' custody or control that is requested by the Adjudicator. Under the authority of state or federal arbitration statutes the Adjudicator also may subpoena Evidence in the custody or control of Parties or third parties. In some cases the materials requested for inspection or copying will be extremely voluminous, however, under no circumstances shall the Parties refuse to make requested materials available.
- 2.3. The Adjudicator may not use the information gathered during the investigation for any purposes other than the adjudication of the Parties' dispute, unless otherwise authorized by these rules or by written agreement with the Party providing the materials. At the request of any Party, the Adjudicator may issue orders designed to protect the confidentiality of trade secrets, proprietary information or other material that is not appropriate for public disclosure.
- 2.4. The Parties are obliged to promptly circulate a written directive to all employees and others subject to the Parties' control (e.g. attorneys, accountants, independent contractors, agents, etc.) instructing them to cooperate fully with the Adjudicator's investigation, answer all questions truthfully and voluntarily turn over all materials requested for inspection or copying by the Adjudicator or the Adjudicator's staff. The Parties also are obliged to promptly allow the Adjudicator and the Adjudicator's staff to have access to the Parties' premises for purposes of observing the Parties' operations and seeing how records are kept. The Parties will provide the Adjudicator and the Adjudicator's staff with unrestricted access to the persons most knowledgeable about the Parties' record keeping practices and the most efficient methods of retrieving information from the Parties' documents and electronic records. Upon request the Parties will assist the Adjudicator in retrieving information from their records in the format most useful to the Adjudicator.
- 2.5. On as many occasions as the Adjudicator may request, the Parties' must promptly make themselves, their employees and others subject to the their control available to provide testimony and answer, under oath, all questions posed by the Adjudicator or the Adjudicator's staff. Under the authority of state or federal arbitration statutes the Adjudicator also may subpoena the sworn testimony of any Party or third party witness the Adjudicator decides to interview. Testimony may be taken in person, telephonically or by video conference, within the sole discretion of the Adjudicator.
- 2.6. Unless otherwise directed in writing, the Adjudicator and the Adjudicator's staff may take sworn testimony or communicate directly with the Parties, their employees and agents without the participation of the Parties' legal counsel.
- 2.7. The Adjudicator will notify the Parties in advance of the examination of any witness and the Parties or their representatives may elect to be present during the examination or, alternatively, may simply request a transcript of the examination. However, the Adjudicator shall not delay the examination of any witness solely because one or more Parties are unable to be present.
- 2.8. The Adjudicator may move to compel production of any withheld testimony, documents, electronic records or other Evidence in a court of law. A Party that withholds testimony, documents, electronic records or other Evidence requested by the Adjudicator will bear the cost of any motion to compel discovery (including the regular hourly rate of the Adjudicator and the Adjudicator's staff as well as all out of pocket costs) and will pay such fees and costs within thirty days of billing.
- 2.9. Information, testimony or other Evidence that might be withheld in other proceedings based upon a legal objection or privilege must nevertheless be provided to the Adjudicator upon request. The propriety of considering such Evidence in deciding the dispute shall be determined in the sole discretion of the Adjudicator after a review of the Evidence. The Adjudicator is permitted to draw negative inferences concerning the facts of the dispute against any Party that refuses to cooperate, obstructs the investigation or fails to voluntarily provide the Adjudicator with requested testimony, information, documents, electronic records or other Evidence.
3. ANALYSIS OF THE APPLICABLE LAW AND FACTS
- 3.1. During the adjudication process the Adjudicator may grant such interim relief, including such preliminary injunctive relief, as the Adjudicator believes to be warranted by the circumstances. The Adjudicator may require, as a condition of any such interim relief, security for the cost of the interim relief.
- 3.2. At the conclusion of the fact finding process the Adjudicator will prepare a detailed written compilation of all the Evidence the Adjudicator considers to be relevant to the legal dispute (the "Statement of the Evidence").
- 3.3. The Adjudicator will be guided (but will not be bound) by the Federal Rules of Evidence or comparable state law in determining which Evidence is appropriate to consider.
- 3.4. The Statement of the Evidence will identify, but not decide, all factual disputes the Adjudicator considers to be important to the final adjudication of the matter.
- 3.5. The Parties will be given 30 days (or more by agreement) after the Statement of the Evidence is provided to make further attempts to settle their dispute.
- 3.6. After 30 days (or more by agreement of the Parties) has expired the Adjudicator will prepare a written statement describing the Adjudicator's findings concerning the resolution of the disputed facts and the Adjudicator's conclusions of law with respect to the facts (the "Decision re Liability"). In deciding liability the Adjudicator will be guided by the legal authority the Adjudicator believes to be most appropriate to the proper resolution of the Parties' dispute.
- 3.7. If liability is found or if costs are to be assessed the Parties will be given another 30 days (or more by agreement) after mailing of the Decision re Liability to explore settlement opportunities. After the expiration of this second 30 day settlement period (or more by agreement of the Parties) the Adjudicator will prepare findings of fact and conclusions of law concerning the nature and amount of any applicable damages, costs and other remedies (the "Decision re Damages and Other Remedies"). The Adjudicator's Decision re Damages and Other Remedies shall include an award of any damages, costs or other remedies the Adjudicator determines to be warranted in resolving of the dispute.
- 3.8. At the conclusion of the proceedings the Adjudicator shall send all of the Parties a letter informing them that their dispute has been fully adjudicated (the "Termination of Proceedings Letter").
4. THE FINAL DECISION OF THE ADJUDICATOR
- 4.1. Taken together, the Statement of the Evidence, the Decision re Liability and the Decision re Damages and other Remedies will be the final decision of the Adjudicator.
- 4.2. The final decision of the Adjudicator may be converted into a court judgment by any Party in the same manner that any arbitration award is confirmed by a court of law.
- 5.1. The final decision of the Adjudicator will generally be subject to appeal in an appellate court only upon the very limited grounds for appeal of arbitration decisions provided under applicable state or federal law.
- 5.2. Unless the Parties agree otherwise in writing, the final decision of the Adjudicator may alternatively be appealed to a private appellate professional as provided in these rules.
- 5.3. All Parties waive the right to an appeal to a private appellate professional under these rules unless one or more of them sends a written notice of intent to appeal to the Adjudicator and all other Parties within 30 days of the date of the Termination of Proceedings Letter.
- 5.4. The Parties will be bound to argue their appeal to a legal professional selected by the Adjudicator unless the Parties jointly agree in writing on the selection of an alternative legal professional to consider the appeal within 30 days of the date of the first notice of intent to appeal.
- 5.5. The Parties will brief and argue the appeal as provided by the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure unless directed otherwise by the legal professional selected to hear the appeal.
- 5.6. The decision of the legal professional selected to hear the appeal will be final. No further appeals are authorized under these rules.
- 6.1. Neither Intelligent Justice, including its owners, officers, partners, managers and employees, the Adjudicator nor any of the Adjudicator's partners or employees shall be liable for any act or omission in connection with an adjudication initiated by the Parties. Moreover, the Parties shall not call the Adjudicator, the Adjudicator's partners or employees or any owner, officer, partner, manager or employee of Intelligent Justice as a witness in any proceeding concerning the subject of the dispute to be adjudicated. The Parties shall hold harmless, indemnify, defend and pay the costs (including attorneys fees) incurred by the Adjudicator, the Adjudicator's partners and employees, Intelligent Justice and its owners, officers, partners, managers, and employees who are required to participate in any legal proceeding arising out of the adjudication or the dispute that is the subject of the adjudication, including a proceeding initiated by a third party.
- 6.2. Intelligent Justice may amend the Intelligent Justice Adjudication Rules and Procedures at any time without notice however, unless the Parties agree otherwise, the version of these rules and procedures in effect at the time the adjudication commences shall remain in effect until the adjudication is completed.
- 6.3. If any of the Intelligent Justice Adjudication Rules and Procedures is found to be in conflict with a provision of applicable law, the conflicting rule or procedure shall be pre-empted by the applicable law, however no other rule or procedure shall be affected.
- 6.4. The Adjudicator may sanction any Party for violation of these Rules and Procedures. Such sanctions may include, but are not limited to, assessment of costs, exclusion of evidence or adverse determinations of issues in dispute.
- 6.5. The failure of any Party to object to an alleged violation of these Rules and Procedures within five business days of the alleged violation shall be deemed a waiver of the alleged violation.
- 6.6. The failure of any Party to assert a challenge for cause to the continued service of the Adjudicator within five business days of learning the basis for such a challenge shall be deemed a waiver of any objection to the continued service of the Adjudicator.
- 6.7. If the Adjudicator selected by the Parties is unable to complete the adjudication, Intelligent Justice shall appoint a new Adjudicator after further consultation with the Parties.
- 6.8. No Party may terminate or withdraw from the adjudication except by written agreement of all Parties.