The ADR Conference
(a) Location of the Conference. The ADR Conference is to be held within the county where the case is filed at a site designated by the neutral or any other site agreed upon by the parties and the neutral.
(b) Discovery and Motions. The ADR conference shall not be cause for delay of other proceedings in the case, including the completion of discovery, the filing and hearing of motions, or any other matter that would delay preparation of the case for trial, except by order of the court.
(c) Recesses. The neutral may recess the ADR conference at any time and may set times for reconvening. No further notification is required for persons present at the recessed conference.
(d) Privacy. ADR conferences are private. Other persons may attend only with the permission of the parties, their attorneys and the mediator.
(e) Motion to Defer or Exempt from ADR. A party may file a motion to defer an ADR conference or exempt a case from ADR for case specific reasons. For good cause, the Chief Judge for Administrative Purposes of the circuit may grant the motion. For example, it may be appropriate to defer an ADR conference or completely exempt a case from the requirement of ADR where a party is unable to participate due to incarceration or mental or physical condition.
(f) Deadline for the ADR Conference in Circuit Court. The ADR conference shall be held on or before three hundred (300) days from the date of the filing of the action. The case shall not be on the circuit court trial roster until a Proof of ADR is filed.
Pre-suit medical malpractice mediations required by S.C. Code §15-79-125 shall be held not later than 120 days after all defendants are served with the Notice of Intent to File Suit or as the Court directs.
(g) Scheduling in Family Court. The parties shall contact and cooperate with the mediator to set the schedule for conferences and the mediator may recess a conference at any time and may set times for reconvening. No further notification is required for persons present at the recessed conference. The case shall not be docketed in family court for trial until a Proof of ADR is filed.
(h) Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) in an ADR Conference or Early Neutral Evaluation. Unless a party objects, an ADR Conference or Early Neutral Evaluation may be conducted in whole or in part by ODR.
(1) The persons required to physically attend an ADR Conference or Early Natural Evaluation under these rules may attend via ODR if agreed to by the neutral and all parties or as ordered or approved by the Chief Judge for Administrative Purposes of the circuit.
(2) A mediator, arbitrator, or evaluator shall at all times be authorized to control the use of ODR at any stage of an ADR Conference or Early Neutral Evaluation.
Last amended by Order dated April 29, 2021.