The MSBA is submitting comments to the Minnesota Supreme Court regarding proposed amendments to the Minnesota No-Fault Insurance Arbitration Rules. The MSBA thanks the Court Rules and Administration Committee for reviewing the proposed amendments and drafting comments. A brief summary follows, but the text of the report from the Court Rules Committee, on which the MSBA comments to the court will be based, can be found at http://bit.ly/1NxJgcQ
- The MSBA expressed concern regarding changes that would allow for expanded discovery under Rule 12. The concern is that expanded discovery in collision and comprehensive cases could be contrary to traditional, low-cost no-fault procedures and significantly burden the parties and the arbitrator. The comments suggest a way to address this issue.
- Regarding representation under Rule 16, the MSBA is concerned that a case could be dismissed in a situation where a lawyer withdraws and the client either doesn’t know about the withdrawal or isn’t advised of the new requirement to obtain counsel or proceed pro se within 30 days. The MSBA suggests alternative language to address this concern.
- Proposed changes to Rule 18 provide that interpreters must be independent of the parties, counsel and named representatives. While the MSBA supports that goal, the bar is concerned about the high cost of independent interpreters and whether parties will be able to afford them. The MSBA recommends that language be added providing for interpreters to be paid by the state, similar to Rule 43.07 of the Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure.
- Changes proposed to arbitrator’s fees under Rule 40 provide for increased fees in a consolidated glass case, but not other types of cases that may allow for expanded discovery. The comments recommend that this be remedied.
- The MSBA is concerned that proposed changes to Rule 41, dealing with rescheduling or cancellation fees, may penalize parties who settle. The comments propose clarifying that the request to reschedule or cancel a hearing does not fall within Rule 40.b.