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Resolution of Disputes
The following procedure applies to the resolution of any dispute arising out of or in any way related to a student's Enrollment Agreement with the College, any amendments or addenda thereto, and or the subject matter thereof, including, without limitation, any statutory, tort, contract or equity claim (individually and collectively, the "Dispute"):
(a) The parties are encouraged to make an initial attempt, in good faith, to resolve the Dispute pursuant to the College's Student Complaint/Grievance Procedure or through other informal means.
(b) If the Dispute is not resolved pursuant to the College's Student Complaint/Grievance Procedure or through other informal means, then the Dispute will be resolved by binding arbitration between the parties. Arbitration is the referral of a dispute to an impartial person for a final and binding determination. Both the student and the College agree that the Enrollment Agreement involves interstate commerce and that the enforceability of this Resolution of Disputes section will be governed, both procedurally and substantively, by the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. §1-9 (the "FAA").
The arbitration between the student and the College will be administered by the American Arbitration Association ("AAA") or, in the event the AAA declines or is unable to administer the arbitration, by an arbitration forum or arbitrator that the student and the College mutually agree upon. If, after making a reasonable effort, the student and the College are unable to agree upon an arbitration forum or arbitrator, a court having proper jurisdiction will appoint an arbitration forum or arbitrator. The arbitration will be conducted in accordance with the AAA's Commercial Arbitration Rules ("Commercial Rules") and, when deemed appropriate by the arbitration forum or arbitrator, the AAA's Supplementary Procedures for Consumer-Related Disputes ("Consumer Procedures"), or the appropriate rules of any alternative arbitration forum selected by the student and the College or appointed by a court, subject to the following modifications:
1. The arbitration will be conducted before a single arbitrator (without a jury) who will be a former federal or state court judge and will have at least 10 years of experience in the resolution of civil disputes.
2. The site of the arbitration will be the city in which the College is located.
3. The substantive law which will govern the interpretation of a student's Enrollment Agreement and the resolution of the Dispute will be the law of the state where the College is located, except that the enforceability of this Resolution of Disputes section will be governed, both procedurally and substantively, by the FAA.
4. The arbitrator will have the exclusive authority to determine and adjudicate any challenge to the enforceability of this Resolution of Disputes Section.
5. The scope of the arbitration will be limited to the Dispute between the student and the College. In the arbitration between the student and the College:
6. The parties may take discovery through interrogatories, depositions and requests for production that the arbitrator determines to be appropriate to allow for a fair hearing, taking into consideration the claims involved and the expedited nature of arbitration.
7. The College will pay the amount of any arbitration costs and fees charged to the student under the Commercial Rules or Consumer Procedures that exceed the costs and fees that the student would incur if the student filed a similar action in a court having proper jurisdiction.
8. In any of the following arbitration-related proceedings, the prevailing party will be entitled to recover its reasonable attorneys' fees:
9. All aspects of the arbitration proceeding, and any ruling, decision or award by the arbitrator, will be strictly confidential. The parties will have the right to seek relief in the appropriate court to prevent any actual or threatened breach of this provision.
10. If any provision of this Resolution of Disputes section or its application is invalid or unenforceable, that provision will be severed from the remainder of this section and the remainder of this section will be binding and enforceable.
The Commercial Rules, Consumer Procedures and other information regarding the AAA's arbitration procedures are available from the AAA, which can be contacted by mail at 1633 Broadway, 10th Floor, New York, New York 10019, by telephone at (800) 778-7879 or through its Web site at www.adr.org.