Rule 3.3 CASE MANAGEMENT
(a) Scope. The purpose of this rule is to provide a uniform system for scheduling matters for disposition and trial in civil cases, excluding only the following:
(1) divorce cases governed by N.D.R.Ct. 8.3.
(b) Compulsory Meeting. After the filing of an action, the parties shall promptly confer regarding case management issues, including the selection and timing of any alternative dispute resolution process. Following this conference, alternative dispute resolution information must be included in the informational statement required in subdivision (c). In family law matters, the parties need not meet and confer where one of the parties claims to be the victim of domestic abuse by the other party or where the court determines there is probable cause that one of the parties or a child of the parties has been physically abused or threatened with physical abuse by the other party. In such cases, both parties shall complete and submit an informational statement.
(c) The Party's Informational Statement. Within sixty days after an action has been filed, each party shall submit, on a form available from the court, the information needed by the court to manage and schedule the case. The information provided must include:
(1) the status of service of the action;
(2) whether the statement is jointly prepared;
(3) a description of the case;
(4) whether a jury trial is requested;
(5) the discovery contemplated and the estimated completion date;
(6) the estimated trial time;
(7) any proposals for adding additional parties;
(8) the alternative dispute resolution method chosen and the timing of the process or an explanation why alternative dispute resolution is not appropriate; and
(9) other pertinent or unusual information that may affect the scheduling or completion of pretrial proceedings.
(d) Scheduling Order. No sooner than sixty days and no longer than ninety days after an action has been filed, the court shall enter its scheduling order. The court may issue the order after either a telephone or in-court scheduling conference, or without a conference or hearing if none is needed. The scheduling order must address alternative dispute resolution and must establish a date for the completion of discovery. The order may also establish any of the following:
(1) deadlines for joining additional parties;
(2) deadlines for bringing motions;
(3) deadlines or specific dates for submitting particular issues to the court for consideration;
(4) a date for a formal discovery conference, a pretrial conference or conferences under N.D.R.Civ.P. 16, or a further scheduling conference;
(5) deadlines for filing any pretrial submissions, including proposed instructions, verdicts, or findings of fact, witness lists, exhibits lists, statements of the case or any similar documents;
(6) whether the case is a jury trial; and
(7) a trial date.
(e) Amendment. A scheduling order under this rule may be amended at a pretrial conference or upon motion for good cause shown. Except in unusual circumstances, a motion to extend a deadline under a scheduling order must be made before the expiration of the deadline. A court may issue more than one scheduling order.
Rule 3.3 was adopted, effective _____________________.
The evolving nature of alternative dispute resolution necessitates that the processes not be defined by specific rule. However, the Committee believes it desirable to identify individual alternative dispute resolution processes, that are sometimes grouped in new definitions as "adjudicative," "evaluative," "facilitative," and "hybrid." These definitions are useful and significant for classifying different sets of training requirements for neutrals.
(a) Alternative Dispute Resolution Processes.
(1) Arbitration. A forum in which each party and its counsel present its position before a neutral third party, who renders a specific award. If the parties stipulate in advance, the award is binding and is enforceable in the same manner as any contractual obligation. If the parties do not stipulate the award is binding, the award is not binding and a request for trial de novo may be made.
(2) Consensual Special Magistrate. A forum in which a dispute is presented to a neutral third party in the same manner as a civil lawsuit is presented to a judge. This process is binding and includes the right of appeal.
(3) Moderated Settlement Conference. A forum in which each party and their counsel present their position before a panel of neutral third parties. The panel may issue a non-binding advisory opinion regarding liability, damages, or both.
(4) Summary Jury Trial. A forum in which each party and their counsel present a summary of their position before a panel of jurors. The panel may issue a non-binding advisory opinion regarding liability, damages, or both.
(5) Early Neutral Evaluation. A forum in which attorneys present the core of the dispute to a neutral evaluator in the presence of the parties. This occurs after the case is filed but before discovery is conducted. The neutral then gives a candid assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the case. If settlement does not result, the neutral helps narrow the dispute and suggests guidelines for managing discovery.
(6) Neutral Fact Finding. A forum in which a dispute, frequently one involving complex or technical issues, is investigated and analyzed by an agreed-upon neutral who issues findings and a non-binding report or recommendation.
(7) Mediation. A forum in which a neutral third party facilitates communication between parties to promote settlement. A mediator may not impose his or her own judgment on the issues for one of the parties.
(8) Mini-Trial. A forum in which each party and their counsel present their opinion, either before a selected representative for each party, before a neutral third party, or both to define the issues and develop a basis for realistic settlement negotiations. A neutral third party may issue an advisory opinion regarding the merits of the case. The advisory opinion is not binding unless the parties agree that it is binding and enter into a written settlement agreement.
(9) Mediation-Arbitration. A hybrid of mediation and arbitration in which the parties initially mediate their disputes; but if they reach impasse, they arbitrate the deadlocked issues.
(10) Other. Parties may by agreement create an alternative dispute resolution process.
(b) Neutral. A "neutral" is an individual or organization providing an alternative dispute resolution process. A "qualified neutral" is an individual or organization included on the State Court Administrator's roster. An individual neutral must have completed the training and continuing education requirements provided in these rules. An individual neutral provided by an organization also must meet the training and continuing education requirements. A neutral fact-finder selected by the parties for their expertise need not undergo training nor be on the State Court Administrator's roster.
SOURCES: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of _________________.