(a) Disputes not subjectto arbitration. These rules do not apply to the following:
(a)(1) disputes in which the client seeks relief against alawyer based upon alleged malpractice. The arbitration panel may considerevidence relating to claims of malpractice and professional misconduct, butonly to the extent that those claims bear upon the fees, costs, or both, towhich the lawyer claims he or she is entitled. The panel may not awardaffirmative relief in the form of damages for injuries underlying any such claim;
(a)(2) disputes in whichentitlement to, and the amount of the fees and/or costs charged or paid to alawyer by the client or on the client's behalf, have been determined by courtorder;
(a)(3) disputes in whichthe request for arbitration or mediation is filed more than four years afterthe lawyer/client relationship has been terminated, or more than four yearsafter the final billing has been received by the client, or the civil actionconcerning the disputed amount is barred by the statute of limitations,whichever is later; and
(a)(4) at the discretion of the executive director or thechair, disputes which are deemed to be administratively burdensome due toeither the complexity, the nature or number of the factual and/or legal issuesinvolved or the amount in controversy.
(b) Mediation to be considered. In those cases where all necessary partiesrefuse to be bound by arbitration, the chair or hisdesignee will advise the petitioner and the respondent of the option ofentering into non-binding mediation. Mediation must be agreedupon by the petitioner, respondent and third parties responsible for payment,if any.