(a) Mediation. An informal process in which a third-party mediator facilitates settlement discussions between parties. Any settlement is voluntary. In the absence of settlement, the parties lose none of their rights to trial.
(b) Mediator. A neutral person who acts to encourage and facilitate the resolution of a dispute. The mediator does not decide the issues in controversy or impose settlement.
(c) Arbitration. An informal process in which a third-party arbitrator issues an award deciding the issues in controversy. The award may be binding or non-binding as specified in these rules.
(d) Arbitrator. A neutral person who acts to decide the issues in controversy of a dispute.
(e) Early Neutral Evaluation. An informal process in which a third-party evaluator provides a non-binding evaluation of the matters in controversy, assists the parties in identifying areas of agreement, offers case planning suggestions, and assists in settlement discussions.
(f) Evaluator. A neutral person who provides an evaluation of the issues in controversy in a dispute as described in these rules.
(g) Neutral. A mediator, arbitrator or evaluator.
(h) Certified. A mediator or arbitrator who is approved by the Board of Arbitrator and Mediator Certification to be eligible for court appointment pursuant to these rules. A certified mediator or arbitrator may refer to himself or herself as a "Supreme Court of South Carolina Certified Mediator" or a "Supreme Court of South Carolina Certified Arbitrator."
(i) Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Conference. A mediation or arbitration. Arbitration conferences may also be referred to as hearings.
(j) Roster. The official list of certified neutrals maintained and published by the South Carolina Supreme Court Board of Arbitrator and Mediator Certification.
(k) Board. The South Carolina Supreme Court Board of Arbitrator and Mediator Certification.
(l) Online Dispute Resolution (ODR). The use of remote communication technology, such as video conferencing and teleconferencing which allows audio and/or video to be shared at differing locations in real time, at any stage of the ADR Conference or early neutral evaluation.
(m) Sign or signing. For purposes of these rules, the reference to sign or signing shall include the physical signature or electronic signature or electronic consent.
Last amended by Order dated April 29, 2021.