ALJ Rogers Rules On Motion For Clarification Of The Ground Rules Regarding Settlement In Certain Starter Motors And Alternators (337-TA-755)
On February 28, 2011, ALJ Robert K. Rogers, Jr. issued Order No. 10 in Certain Starter Motors and Alternators (Inv. No. 337-TA-755). In the Order, ALJ Rogers denied Respondent Wetherill Associates, Inc.’s (“WAI”) motion for clarification of the ground rules regarding settlement.
According to the Order, WAI explained in its motion that it seeks to conduct a face-to-face settlement conference with Complainants Remy International, Inc. and Remy Technologies, LLC (collectively, “Remy”) with the parties’ corporate representatives present. WAI also seeks to involve a Commission-appointed mediator in the settlement conference. According to WAI, Remy has rejected these proposals, and Remy wishes to hold “informal” settlement conferences by telephone between the parties’ outside counsel. In its motion, WAI argued that Remy’s proposal is not within the spirit of the Ground Rules and that this is just the latest instance of Remy’s refusal to make good faith efforts to resolve the dispute between the parties. WAI accordingly requested that ALJ Rogers issue an order clarifying the following: (1) whether or not settlement conferences must be held face-to-face; (2) whether or not settlement conferences must be attended by a corporate representative with full authority to settle; (3) whether or not a Commission-appointed mediator may attend a settlement conference; and (4) whether or not the parties must serve settlement statements on one another prior to the date of the settlement conference.
After considering WAI’s motion, ALJ Rogers declined to impose any specific rules regarding how the settlement conferences between WAI and Remy are to be conducted. The ALJ determined that “[t]he parties are free to conduct settlement conferences in any manner that they believe to be most productive.” He further stated that he “cannot force parties to settle, and [he] only require[s] that parties make a good faith effort to resolve their dispute through settlement.” Accordingly, ALJ Rogers determined that he will not impose any additional specific requirements beyond those already present in the Ground Rules, and denied WAI’s motion.