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Rule 19
Certification of Court-Appointed Neutrals

(a) Applications. The Board of Arbitrator and Mediator Certification ("Board") shall receive and approve applications for certifications of persons to be appointed as mediators or arbitrators. The application shall be on a form approved by the Supreme Court or the Board. Recertification of a neutral who, by virtue of current job restrictions is prohibited from serving under these rules, is allowed if the neutral submits the appropriate recertification paperwork, pays the applicable fee and agrees upon termination of the prohibiting employment to promptly supplement the application to list at least one county for court appointments.

(b) Certification. For circuit court or family court certification, a person must:

(1) Either:

(A) Be admitted to practice law in this State for at least three (3) years and be a member in good standing of the South Carolina Bar, including retired or inactive lawyers. This includes members who may be on retired or inactive status and any person who holds a limited license; or

(B) Be admitted to practice law in the highest court of another state or the District of Columbia for at least three (3) years and:

(i) Be at least 21 years old;

(ii) Have received a juris doctorate degree or its equivalent from a law school approved by the American Bar Association;

(iii) Be a member in good standing in each jurisdiction where he or she is admitted to practice law. This includes persons who may be retired or inactive; and

(iv) Agree to be subject to the Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 407, SCACR, and the Rules for Lawyer Disciplinary Enforcement, Rule 413, SCACR, to the same extent as a regular member of the South Carolina Bar.

(2) Be of good moral character;

(3) Have not, within the last five (5) years, been:

(A) Disbarred or suspended from the practice of law;

(B) Denied admission to a bar for character or ethical reasons; or

(C) Publicly reprimanded or publicly disciplined for professional conduct;

(4) Pay all administrative fees and comply with all procedures established by the Supreme Court, the Board and the Commission on Alternative Dispute Resolution; and

(5) Agree to provide mediation/arbitration to indigents without pay.

(6) To be certified as a Circuit Court Mediator, a person must also:

(A) Have completed a minimum of forty (40) hours in a civil mediation training program approved by the Board, or any other training program attended prior to the promulgation of these rules or attended in other states and approved by the Board; and

(B) Demonstrate familiarity with the statutes, rules and practice governing mediation settlement conferences in South Carolina.

(7) To be certified as a Family Court Mediator, a person must also:

(A) Have completed a minimum of forty (40) hours in a family court mediation training program approved by the Board, or any other training program attended prior to the promulgation of these rules or attended in other states and approved by the Board;

(B) Demonstrate familiarity with the statutes, rules and practice governing mediation settlement conferences in South Carolina.

(8) To be certified as an Arbitrator, a person must also:

(A) Have served as a Master-in-Equity, Circuit or Appellate Court Judge; or

(B) Have completed a minimum of six (6) hours in a civil arbitration training program approved by the Board, or any other training program attended prior to the promulgation of these rules or attended in other states and approved by the Board; and

(C) Demonstrate familiarity with the statutes, rules and practice governing arbitration hearings in South Carolina.

(c) Certification under Prior Versions of Rule 19. Persons who were certified under a prior version of Rule 19 may be recertified in accordance with Section V(B)(7), Appendix G to Part IV, SCACR. However, a certified neutral who is decertified or whose certification lapses due to a failure to seek recertification must file a new application and meet the requirements of paragraph (b) of this rule to be certified. 

Last amended by Order dated October 26, 2016.