A neutral who provides dispute resolution services other than mediation pursuant to this chapter shall provide the court with a written statement of qualifications, describing the neutral’s background and relevant training and experience in the field. A dispute resolution program may satisfy the requirements of this section on behalf of its neutrals by providing the court with a written statement of the background, training, experience, and certification, as appropriate, of any neutral who participates in its program. A neutral who desires to provide mediation and receive referrals from the court shall be certified pursuant to guidelines promulgated by the Judicial Council of Virginia. The court shall maintain a list of mediators certified pursuant to guidelines promulgated by the Judicial Council and may maintain a list of neutrals and dispute resolution programs which have met the requirements of this section. The list may be divided among the areas of specialization or expertise of the neutrals.At the conclusion of the orientation session, or no later than ten days thereafter, parties electing to continue with the dispute resolution proceeding may: (i) continue with the neutral who conducted the orientation session, (ii) select any neutral or dispute resolution program from the list maintained by the court to conduct such proceedings, or (iii) pursue any other alternative for voluntarily resolving the dispute to which the parties agree. If the parties choose to proceed with the dispute resolution proceeding but are unable to agree on a neutral or dispute resolution program during that period, the court shall refer the case to a neutral or dispute resolution program who accepts such referrals, on the list maintained by the court on the basis of a fair and equitable rotation, taking into account the subject matter of the dispute and the expertise of the neutral, as appropriate. If one or more of the parties is indigent or no agreement as to payment is reached between the parties and a neutral, the court shall set a reasonable fee for the service of any neutral who accepts such referral pursuant to this paragraph.
1993, c. 905; 2002, c. 718.