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PDFWAC 480-07-710


(1) Scope. This rule applies generally to settlement negotiations in which the commission agrees to assign a qualified mediator to assist the parties. This rule also implements the mediation provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, 47 U.S.C. Secs. 251 and 252.
(2) Commission participation. The parties to a negotiation may ask the commission to mediate any differences that arise during the negotiation. A request for mediation must include a brief statement of the nature of the dispute and the names, postal and email addresses, and telephone numbers of the parties and their representatives. Copies of the request must be served on all parties to the negotiation. All parties are required to participate in good faith if the commission agrees to mediate.
(3) Mediators. The commission may assign a qualified employee to serve as a mediator. The commission may require the parties to retain the services of a professional mediator acceptable to all parties.
(4) Process. Mediators have discretion to regulate the course of the mediation, including scheduling mediation sessions, in consultation with the parties. The following general procedures apply:
(a) The mediator may not impose a settlement but may offer proposals for settlement;
(b) The mediator may meet individually with the parties or attorneys during mediation;
(c) Only the parties to the negotiation and the mediator may attend the mediation session(s), unless all parties and the mediator consent to the presence of others;
(d) Parties must provide the mediator with a brief statement of position and relevant background information prior to the first mediation session;
(e) The mediator may ask for supplemental information;
(f) The mediator may not provide legal advice to the parties, nor are any mediator's stated opinions as to law or policy binding on the commission unless the commission subsequently adopts them;
(g) The mediation process is confidential and the information exchanged is privileged to the extent permitted by law; and
(h) No stenographic or electronic record will be made.
(5) Fees and costs. Each party must bear its own costs for the mediation. Each party must pay any fees imposed by commission rule or statute.
(6) Notice to commission. Parties must advise the commission if they reach a full, partial, or multiparty settlement. The commission will review the settlement consistent with the requirements of WAC 480-07-640 or 480-07-740, as applicable.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 80.01.040 and 80.04.160. WSR 18-18-041 (Docket A-130355, General Order R-592), § 480-07-710, filed 8/29/18, effective 9/29/18; WSR 06-16-053 (Docket A-050802, General Order R-536), § 480-07-710, filed 7/27/06, effective 8/27/06; WSR 03-24-028 (General Order R-510, Docket No. A-010648), § 480-07-710, filed 11/24/03, effective 1/1/04.]
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