Once an ADR judge neutral is assigned to a case, the judge typically will schedule a telephone conference to discuss ADR and the role the parties wish him/her to play. With so many ADR processes available at the CBCA, the judge neutrals look to the parties to help describe the role they would like the neutral to perform. This is the time for the parties to ask any questions they may have about ADR processes and to describe the role they want to the judge to perform during the proceedings. Parties that have not already participated in a contract dispute ADR are encouraged to ask the judge neutral questions about how a contemplated ADR process operates and what to expect.
After the telephone conference (or if they choose, before), the parties will submit an ADR agreement setting forth in detail the rules they agree to follow regarding the ADR proceeding. An ADR agreement must be executed before an ADR proceeding can begin, and may address, among other things, the date and time for the ADR proceeding, document submissions, role of the judge neutral, issue(s) to be addressed, and confidential position papers. Samples of ADR agreements may be found in the free manual published by the American Bar Association (ABA) Public Contract Section titled “Practicing before Federal Contract Appeals Boards,” which can be found on the CBCA’s website or on the ABA’s website.