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Arbitration is a final, and binding resolution of a dispute by a "Neutral" or a panel of three "neutrals".

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Folks, here are the arbitration rules of GAMA [as of 7/95], an alternative to going through the American Arbitration Assoc. (AAA), the largest such organization. As to the advantages/disadvantages of using GAMA, the AAA, etc., we make no recomendations [aside from favoring arbitration over litigation where appropriate]. -- staff.
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The below listed "Rules of Arbitration" are deemed to be part and parcel of any agreement of the parties to arbitrate using GAMA as the arbitration forum of choice or where there is an arbitration clause in any contract.

As used in these Rules, the below listed terms have the indicated definitions.

I. DEFINITION OF TERMS:

1. Arbitration is a final, and binding resolution of a dispute by a "Neutral" or a panel of three "neutrals".

2. A Neutral is an impartial person assigned to a case by GAMA based upon his/her expertise. He/She will resolve a submitted arbitration dispute by making an "award". Except in GAMA's Small Claims Division, where GAMA's qualified office staff maybe utilized, all neutrals are independent contractors and not agents or employees of GAMA. As such, these neutrals have the right to turn down an assignment if it does not fit within their schedule. In the event that this should occur, GAMA's case administrator will assign another, qualified arbitrator. Additionally, the neutrals have the right to modify the arbitration procedures and compel or restrain action by either party when the same is necessary to preserve the status quo pending award or to resolve evidentiary and/or procedural disputes.

3. An award is a decision of the neutral finding for or against a party and is made in writing. The neutral is not required to render a written explanation of or with their award.

4. The initiating party is the party initially filing a demand for arbitration. The initiating party may or may not file a "claim" for compensable injuries with his/her arbitration demand.

5. A claim is a statement of injury together with a request for compensation in a certain dollar amount and/or that the other party perform or quit performing some act. A claim is presented by the initiating party in his/her Demand for Arbitration and by the responding party in his/her Response to Demand or by either or both parties in their Agreement to Arbitrate.

6. The responding party is the party who responds to a demand for arbitration by filing a Response to Demand. The responding party may or may not include a claim for compensable injuries with his/her response.

7. Where the initiation party files a claim with his/her demand for arbitration and the responding party files a claim with his/her response, the responding party's claim shall be known as a "counter-claim".

8. A Demand for Arbitration is the filing of GAMA Form document #101, entitled "Demand for Arbitration", with GAMA and must be based upon either a contractual arbitration clause, or right granted by statute. A Demand for Arbitration may or may not include a claim for compensable injuries. After the filing of a Demand for Arbitration, the initiating party must follow up its filing with a confirmation copy.

9. A Response to Demand is the filing of GAMA Form document #102, entitled "Response to Demand", with GAMA within five business days of receipt of the Demand for Arbitration. A Response to Demand may or may not included a claim or counter-claim for compensable injuries. After the filing of a Response to Demand, the responding party must follow up its filing with a confirmation copy.

10. An Agreement to Arbitrate, is the filing of GAMA Form document #103, entitled "Agreement to Arbitrate" and must be signed by all parties to the dispute. After filing the Agreement to Arbitrate, BOTH parties must follow up this filing with a confirmation copy.

11. Unless modified by the neutral hearing the dispute, "filing" is the submission by a party of a document to GAMA. This submission is accomplished by Internet e-mail to GAMA's e-mail address. This filing is presumed to have occurred at the time any said document is transferred via e-mail. Where required by these rules, the neutral hearing the dispute, or agreed to by the parties, documents filed by e-mail shall be followed by a "confirmation copy" sent via, first class United States Mail or by private carrier.

12. Unless modified by the neutral hearing the dispute, "service" is the sending of a document to another party at his/her Internet e-mail address. All documents that are required to be filed with GAMA must also be served simultaneously upon the other party.

13. A confirmation copy is a hard copy sent to all parties and to GAMA when required, within 24 hours of the filing of any document by e-mail, via, U.S. first class mail or by private carrier.

14. Unless modified by the neutral hearing the dispute, or as agreed to by the parties, a hearing is a time period set by the neutral wherein the neutral will be available to "hear" the dispute, via the submission of affidavits and testimony, questions and answers, using the internet e- mail, IRC, chat, conference calling etc.. However, where the parties agree, a traditional, "face to face" hearing will be provided.

15. Non-transmittable evidence is any evidence which cannot be reasonably transferred over the Internet given current technology and capabilities. It is the responsibility of the party proffering non-transmittable evidence to fill out GAMA form #204, entitled "Request To Submit Non- transmittable Evidence", and then to arrange to have said evidence available for viewing by the opposing party and the neutral hearing the dispute at a place and time determined by the neutral. The neutral(s) alone shall make the decision to grant or deny The Request To Submit Non- transmittable Evidence.

16. A traditional hearing is a "face to face" hearing where the witnesses, parties and neutral are all in the same room at the same time. Upon agreement by the parties, GAMA will schedule a traditional hearing, however this assignment will be accompanied by additional fees and cost.

17. A complex hearing is one involving the resolution of any complex dispute.

18. A complex dispute is one wherein all claims and counterclaims total over $500,000.00 U.S. dollars. A complex hearing is automatically assigned to a panel of three or five neutrals, who, upon agreement of all the parties, may schedule it for a traditional hearing at a location selected by GAMA. Additionally, upon either agreement of the parties or at the election of GAMA, a claim may be designated "complex" on the basis of factors other than the alleged damage amount, ie: number of and nationality of parties, number of witness, witness, and complexity of legal or factual issues. Upon such a designation, the claim shall be assigned a panel of three neutrals.

19. An Expedited Hearing is one wherein the parties agree to follow the expedited hearing procedures, or have filed a claim in GAMA's Small Claims Division.

20. A Small Claim is one in which the claims of all the parties total less than $25,000. U.S. dollars. All such claims shall be automatically assigned to GAMA's Small Claims Division where they shall be subjected to GAMA's Expedited Hearing Procedures.

II. INITIATION PROCEDURES

A. Where There Is A Contract With An Arbitration Clause:

1. Where there is a contract with an arbitration clause, either party may initiate arbitration by filling out and filing GAMA Form #101, Demand for Arbitration, together with the appropriate filing fee and by serving a copy of the same upon the other party. The initiating party should follow up the filing of the Demand for Arbitration by mailing a confirmation copy to both GAMA and the opposing party.

2. The responding party responds to a demand for arbitration by filing a Response to Demand, GAMA Form #102 and serving a copy of the same upon the initiating party within five business days from receipt of the Demand. The responding party may or may not include a claim for compensable injuries with his/her response, however, when one is included the Response must be accompanied by the appropriate filing fee. The responding party should follow up the filing of the Response to Demand by mailing a confirmation copy to the both GAMA and the opposing party.

3. Upon receipt of the filing fee, the Demand for Arbitration and the Response to Demand, GAMA shall make the appropriate case designation and assign the dispute to the appropriate case tract.

4. If no Response to Demand is filed, then the party who had the duty to respond shall be deemed to have denied the initiating parties' claim and GAMA will proceed with making the appropriate case designation and case assignment. Case designation and assignment shall be made in writing by the case administrator and served via Internet e-mail.

B. Where there is an Agreement to Arbitrate:

1. Where there is an Agreement to Arbitrate, either party may file GAMA Form document #103, entitled "Agreement to Arbitrate", together with the appropriate filing fee and thus initiate arbitration. However, the Agreement to Arbitrate must be signed by all parties to the dispute and after filing the Agreement to Arbitrate, BOTH parties must follow up this filing by sending GAMA a confirmation copy.

2. Upon receipt of the filing fee and the Agreement to Arbitrate, GAMA shall make the appropriate case designation and assign the dispute to the appropriate case tract. Case designation and assignment shall be made in writing by the case administrator and served via Internet e-mail.

III. FILING FEES

All parties initiating cases must pay a non-refundable filing fee as designated below. Where arbitration is instituted by a signed agreement to arbitrate, the filing fee should be split equally between the parties. Filing fees shall be paid by either cashiers check sent by express mail, or by wire transfer of funds into the designated GAMA account. At the neutrals' discretion, filing fees and other arbitration costs, including the neutral's compensation, may be awarded to the winning party or otherwise allocated in the award. The filing fees are as follows:

1. For small claims of $25,000.00 or less, the filing fee is 10% of the amount of each parties' claim to a maximum for each claim of $250. 2. For claims between $25,001.00 and up to $100,000.00, the filing fee is $350.00. 3. For claims between $100,001.00 and up to $350,000.00 the filing fee is $500.00. 4. For claims between $350,001.00 and up to $1,000,000.00, the filing fee is $750.00. 5. For claims between $1,000,001.00 and $3,000,000.00, the filing fee is $1,000.00. 6. For claims above $3,000,001.00, the filing fee is $2,000.00.

IV. CASE TRACT PROCEDURES

Upon receipt of GAMA's written case designation and assignment of the case to the appropriate tract, the parties shall comply with the appropriate Case Tract Procedures.

A. SMALL CLAIMS

A Small Claim is one in which the claims of all the parties total less than $25,000. U.S. dollars. Small claims are subject to the below listed Expedited Hearing Procedures.

1. Expedited Hearing Procedures:

a. Together with GAMA's written designation of the Case as a Small Claims Case, the parties shall also receive the e-mail address, resume and designation of the neutral.

b. To speed the resolution of Small Claims and keep their resolution inexpensive, it is expressly understood that the neutral may be a paid GAMA employee who is also a lawyer and trained in dispute resolution. However, the parties shall have 48 hours from receipt of the Small Claim's Designation, to file GAMA Form #104, Objection to Designation. The sole basis for said objection is that the designated neutral has a conflict of interest that would impede his/her ability to be impartial in the case. Upon a determination by GAMA that said objection is valid, another neutral will be assigned to the case within 2 business days of receipt of the Objection to Designation.

c. Regardless of the filing of an Objection to Designation, the parties shall have ten business days from receipt of the Small Claims Designation, to file their Statement of Case and serve a copy upon each other. The Statement of Case should be a written memo citing all the facts and law in support of their position and is limited to 50 pages. In support of their Statement of Case, each side may file as many affidavits and/or as much other documentary evidence as they desire.

d. At the time of the filing of the Statement of Case, each party must file a nonrefundable Processing Fee of $350.00. The Processing Fee for each claim will vary depending on the facts of the case and shall include the first three hours of the neutral's time in hearing the dispute. Any time spent by the Arbitrator over this three hour minimum shall be charged to the parties' at a rate ranging from $150.00 an hour to $250.00 an hour. Processing fees shall be paid by cashiers check or by wire transfer of funds into the designated GAMA account. At the neutrals' discretion, processing fees and other arbitration costs, including the neutral's compensation, may be awarded to the winning party or otherwise allocated in the award.

e. Within ten business days of the filing and service of the Statement of Case, both parties may file and serve a Response to Statement of Case. This Response should reply to the other parties' Statement of Case, and is limited to 50 pages, though once again there is no limit to the amount of supporting documentation that may be filed with it.

f. Within five business days of receipt of both parties' Response to Statement of Case, the neutral may, at his/her election, file and serve his/her Written Questions upon the parties. The Written Questions may inquire into any subject matter the neutral deems pertinent to resolving the dispute.

g. Should the neutral serve Written Questions upon the parties, the parties shall reply to the same within 5 business days by filing their Reply to Written Questions. There is no page limit to this Reply.

h. Within 15 business days of receipt of both parties Response to Statement of Case, the neutral will schedule a "hearing" via Internet IRC, Chat or conference calling at a time convenient to all the parties and shall commence to hear the dispute.

i. The Neutral shall render his decision and award within 5 business days of the hearing.

Unless otherwise agreed to by the parties and the neutral(s) assigned to their case, all proceedings shall be conducted in the English language. Further, payment for all services rendered by GAMA shall be in U.S. dollars.

All filing fees, neutral fees, and administrative fees for services rendered by GAMA and its neutrals shall be paid by either wire transfer of funds: by cashiers check sent by express mail and delivered to GAMA within 48 hours of due date.

B. COMPLEX DISPUTES

A complex dispute is one wherein all claims and counterclaims total over $500,000.00. U.S. dollars. A complex hearing is automatically assigned to a panel of three or five neutrals, who, upon agreement of all the parties, may schedule it for a traditional hearing at a location selected by GAMA. Additionally, upon either agreement of the parties or at the election of GAMA, a claim may be designated "complex" on the basis of factors other than the alleged damage amount, ie: number of and nationality of parties, number of witness, witness, and complexity of legal or factual issues. Upon such a designation, the claim shall be assigned a panel of three neutrals.

Where any complex dispute primarily involves legal issues concerning international law, and/or the contract or personal injury laws of more than one country and the parties are nationals of two different countries, GAMA shall assign a panel composed as follows:

a. of neutrals from countries other than those of the parties, or: b. of one neutral from each parties' country and a third neutral from neither parties' country; c. upon written assent of each party, more than one neutral can be from one parties' country.

GAMA shall have the exclusive right to determine if the legal issues primarily concern international law, and the above panel designation procedures thus apply.

Where any complex dispute primarily involves legal issues concerning international law, and/or the contract or personal injury laws of more than one country, and the parties are nationals of more than two different countries, GAMA shall assign a panel of neutrals to hear the dispute composed as follows:

a. of neutrals from countries other than those of the parties, or: b. of one neutral from each parties' country and a fourth and/or fifth neutral from neither parties' country, or; c. upon written assent of each party, more than one neutral can be from any parties' country, or; d. with more than upon four parties, the neutrals shall be drawn at random from a panel of qualified candidates world wide, unless the parties agree to some other selection procedure.

GAMA shall have the exclusive right to determine if a complex dispute involves legal issues concerning international law or the contract law and/or personal injury law of two or more different countries, and thus, if the above stated panel designation procedures will be applied to resolve the parties' dispute. However, where the parties agree, a panel of more than one arbitrator may be appointed to hear their dispute.

This concludes GAMA's Rules of Arbitration.
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Copyright 1995, GAMA, Inc.

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