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Rule 20
Approval of Training Programs

A training program, including the trainers to be utilized, must be approved by the Supreme Court or its designee, the Board of Arbitrator and Mediator Certification, before the program can be used for compliance with Rule 19(a)(6)(A) (certification of circuit court mediators), Rule 19(b)(2) (certification of family court mediators), or Rule 19(a)(7)(B) (certification of circuit court arbitrators). Approval need not be given in advance of training attendance. The Supreme Court may set administrative fees, which must be paid in advance of approval.

(a)  Approval of Circuit Court Mediator Training Programs

(1)  An approved training program for mediators of the Court of Common Pleas civil actions shall consist of a minimum of forty (40) hours of instruction, unless otherwise provided by these rules. The curriculum of such programs shall at a minimum include:

(A)  Conflict resolution and mediation theory;

(B)  Mediation processes and techniques, including the process and techniques of trial court mediation;

(C)  Standards of conduct and ethics for mediators;

(D)  Statutes, rules and practice governing mediation settlement conferences in South Carolina;

(E)  Demonstrations of mediation settlement conferences;

(F)  Simulations of mediation settlement conferences, involving student participation as mediator, attorneys and disputants, which simulations shall be supervised, observed and evaluated by program faculty; and

(G)  Such other requirements as the Supreme Court from time to time may decide are appropriate.

(2)  Training programs completed in South Carolina or other states may be approved by the Board if:

(A)  The program consisted of a minimum of 37 hours of instruction;

(B)  The program covered all the topics enumerated in paragraph (a)(1) of this Rule except subparagraph (D) related to South Carolina law; and

(C)  The applicant takes at least three (3) hours of supplemental training pre-approved by the Supreme Court or the Board, covering the South Carolina law topics enumerated in paragraph (a)(1), subparagraph (D) of this Rule.

(b)  Approval of Family Court Mediator Training Programs

(1)  An approved training program for mediators in the Family Court shall consist of a minimum of forty (40) hours of instruction, unless otherwise provided by these rules. The curriculum of such programs shall at a minimum include:

(A)  Statutes, rules and practice concerning family and related law in South Carolina, including the law regarding custody, visitation, support, division of property and alimony;

(B)  Conflict resolution, family dynamics, and mediation theory in general, as well as specific training regarding domestic violence;

(C)  Mediation processes and techniques, including the process and techniques of trial court mediation;

(D)  Standards of conduct and ethics for mediators;

(E)  Statutes, rules and practice governing mediation settlement conferences in South Carolina;

(F)  Demonstrations of mediation conferences;

(G)  Simulations of mediation settlement conferences, involving student participation as mediator, attorneys and disputants, which simulations shall be supervised, observed and evaluated by program faculty; and

(H)  Such other requirements as the Supreme Court from time to time may decide are appropriate for good instruction.

(2)  Training programs completed in South Carolina or other states may be approved by the Board if:

(A)  The program consisted of a minimum of 37 hours of instruction;

(B)  The program covered all the topics enumerated in paragraph (b)(1) of this Rule except subparagraphs (A) and/or (E) related to South Carolina law; and

(C)  The applicant takes at least three (3) hours of supplemental training pre-approved by the Supreme Court or the Board, covering the South Carolina law topics enumerated in paragraph (b)(1), subparagraphs (A) and (E) of this Rule.

(c)  Approval of Circuit Court Arbitrator Training Programs

(1)  An approved training program for arbitrators of the Court of Common Pleas civil actions shall consist of a minimum of six (6) hours of instruction, unless otherwise provided by these rules. The curriculum of such programs shall at a minimum include:

(A)  Conflict resolution and arbitration theory;

(B)  Arbitration processes and techniques, including the process and techniques of both binding and non-binding arbitration;

(C)  Standards of conduct and ethics for arbitrators;

(D)  Statutes, rules and practice governing arbitration hearings in South Carolina;

(E)  Demonstrations of arbitration hearings; and

(F)  Such other requirements as the Supreme Court from time to time may decide are appropriate.

(2)  Training programs completed in South Carolina or other states may be approved by the Board if:

(A)  The program consisted of a minimum of 6 hours of instruction;

(B)  The program covered all the topics enumerated in paragraph (c)(1) of this Rule except subparagraph (D) related to South Carolina law; and

(C)  The applicant takes at least three (3) hours of supplemental training pre-approved by the Supreme Court or the Board, covering the South Carolina law topics enumerated in paragraph (c)(1), subparagraph (D) of this Rule.

(d)  Approval of ADR Trainers.  An experienced, qualified faculty of trainers is essential to the success of any ADR training program.  An applicant must specify those individuals who, in fact, will serve as the primary trainers for that training program.  The application material shall also include a resume for each primary trainer, and each resume shall describe in detail the trainer's experience and education in ADR, along with other relevant experience.

The Supreme Court or the Board may use the following guidelines, without limitation, in exercising their discretion in approving trainers:

(1)  The trainer should meet the equivalent education requirements set out in the corresponding category for certification.

(2)  The trainer should have ADR training equivalent to that set out in the corresponding category for certification.

(3)  The trainer should have served as a neutral in a minimum of twenty-five (25) ADR conferences since the time of his/her training, and should be actively engaged in the practice or academic instruction of ADR.

(4)  In addition to meeting all academic, training and experiential requirements set out in these guidelines, the primary trainer should be knowledgeable in all areas of the training curriculum.  If the primary trainer lacks sufficient expertise or knowledge of any part of the required curriculum, he/she must bring in faculty who has expertise in that subject matter.

Renumbered and amended by Order dated April 30, 2012.