U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Nov 30, 2023

§ 791.30 - Hearing procedures.

(a) Representation by counsel. Any party may be represented by counsel. A party intending to be so represented shall notify the other parties and the American Arbitration Association of the name and address of counsel at least 5 days prior to the date set for the hearing at which counsel is first to appear. When a hearing is initiated by counsel, or where an attorney replies for the other party, such notice is deemed to have been given.

(b) Stenographic record. The American Arbitration Association shall make the necessary arrangements for the taking of a stenographic record. The parties shall share the cost of such record.

(c) Attendance at hearings. The hearing officer shall have the power to require the exclusion of anyone, including a party or other essential person, during the testimony of any witness to protect confidential business information. It shall be discretionary with the hearing officer to determine the propriety of the attendance of any other person.

(d) Oaths. Hearing officers shall swear or affirm their neutrality and their dedication to a fair and equitable resolution. Witnesses shall swear or affirm that they are telling the truth.

(e) Order of proceedings. (1) A hearing shall be opened by the filing of the oath of the hearing officer and by the recording of the place, time and date of the hearing, the presence of the hearing officer and parties, and counsel, if any, and by the receipt by the hearing officer of the request for hearing and answer, if any.

(2) The hearing officer may, at the beginning of the hearing, ask for statements clarifying the issues involved.

(3) The party or parties seeking reimbursement shall then present a claim and proofs and witnesses, who shall submit to questions or other examination. The party or parties from whom reimbursement is sought shall then present a defense and proofs and witnesses, who shall submit to questions or other examination. The hearing officer has discretion to vary this procedure but shall afford full and equal opportunity to all parties for the presentation of any material or relevant proofs.

(4) Exhibits, when offered by any party, shall be received in evidence by the hearing officer. The names and addresses of all witnesses and exhibits in order received shall be made a part of the record.

(f) Hearing in the absence of a party. A hearing may proceed in the absence of any party which, after due notice, fails to be present or fails to obtain an adjournment. An award shall not be made solely on the default of a party. The hearing officer shall require the parties who are present to submit such evidence as the hearing officer may require for the making of an award.

(g) Evidence. (1) The parties may offer such evidence as they desire and shall produce such additional evidence as the hearing officer may deem necessary to an understanding and determination of the dispute. The hearing officer shall be the judge of the relevancy and materiality of the evidence offered and conformity to legal rules of evidence shall not be necessary. All evidence shall be taken in the presence of all the hearing officers and of all the parties, except where any of the parties is absent in default, has waived the right to be present, or has been excluded by the hearing officer to protect confidential business information.

(2) All documents not filed with the hearing officer at the hearing, but arranged for by agreement of the parties, shall be filed with the American Arbitration Association for transmission to the hearing officer, according to the agreed-upon schedule. All parties shall be afforded opportunity to examine such documents.

(h) Evidence by affidavit and filing of documents. The hearing officer shall receive and consider the evidence of witnesses by affidavit, but shall give it only such weight as the hearing officer deems it entitled to after consideration of any objections made to its admission.

(i) Closing of hearings. The hearing officer shall specifically inquire of all parties whether they have any further proofs to offer or witnesses to be heard. Upon receiving negative replies, the hearing officer shall declare the hearings closed and record the time of closing of the hearing. If briefs are to be filed, the hearings shall be declared closed as of the final date set by the hearing officer for the receipt of briefs. If documents are to be filed as provided for in paragraph (g)(2) of this section and the date set for their receipt is later than that set for the receipt of briefs, the later date shall be the date of closing the hearings.

(j) Reopening of hearings. The hearings may be reopened on the hearing officer's own motion, or upon application of a party at any time before the award is made. If the reopening of the hearings would prevent the making of the award within the specified time the matter may not be reopened, unless the parties agree upon the extension of the time limit.

(k) Waiver of oral hearings. The parties may provide, by written agreement, for the waiver of oral hearings. If the parties are unable to agree as to the procedure, the American Arbitration Association shall specify a fair and equitable procedure.

(l) Waiver of rules. Any party who proceeds with the hearing after knowledge that any provision or requirement of these rules has not been complied with and who fails to state objection thereto in writing, shall be deemed to have waived the right to object.

(m) Extensions of time. The parties may modify any period of time by mutual agreement. The American Arbitration Association for good cause may extend any period of time established by these rules, except the time for making the award. (§ 791.37(a)) The American Arbitration Association shall notify the parties of any such extension of time and its reason therefor.

(n) Communication with hearing officer. There shall be no direct communication between the parties and a hearing officer other than at oral hearings. Any other oral or written communications from the parties to the hearing officer shall be directed to the American Arbitration Association for transmittal to the hearing officer.