(A) A dispute for which a civil action is authorized under section 1332.09 of the Revised Code may first be submitted to arbitration in accordance with the procedures and subject to the conditions set forth in divisions (B) to (D) of this section.
(B) Prior to initiating a civil action under section 1332.09 of the Revised Code, a person authorized to bring such an action may provide written notice of proposed arbitration under this section to all persons that would be party to the civil action. The notice shall describe with reasonable specificity the issues that would be the subject of the civil action. The issues shall be submitted to arbitration only if each person receiving such a notice of proposed arbitration gives its written consent not later than seven days after the date of receipt of the notice.
(C) Arbitration under this section shall be conducted and decided by a panel of three arbitrators in accordance with procedures established by the American arbitration association. The persons that would be the complainants in a civil action under section 1332.09 of the Revised Code regarding the issues submitted to arbitration shall select one of the arbitrators, the persons that would be the respondents in the civil action shall select another one of the arbitrators, and the two arbitrators so selected shall jointly select the third arbitrator. If the two arbitrators selected are unable to agree on a third arbitrator within seven days after the latest date either of the two arbitrators was selected, they are removed, and the parties to the proposed arbitration shall each select one substitute arbitrator in the same manner as previously provided in this division, and the two substitute arbitrators so selected shall jointly select the third arbitrator. If the substitute arbitrators are unable to agree on a third arbitrator within seven days after the latest date either such substitute arbitrator was selected, they are removed, and the issues shall not be submitted to arbitration.
(D) Not more than one hundred twenty days after the date a panel of arbitrators is selected under division (C) of this section, the panel shall issue a written opinion setting forth findings and decisions respecting the issues submitted to arbitration. The findings and decisions of the majority of the arbitrators on the panel shall be deemed the findings and decisions of the panel. The findings and decisions shall not be binding but shall be admissible into evidence in any civil action brought under section 1332.09 of the Revised Code respecting the issues submitted to arbitration. The arbitrators shall not have continuing jurisdiction after the written opinion required by this division is issued.
(E) Issues submitted to arbitration under this section may be resolved at any time by binding settlement agreement among the parties to the arbitration.
Effective Date: 10-05-2000