What Are the Restrictions on Witnesses in an Arbitration Proceeding?

When it comes to arbitration proceedings, there are certain restrictions on the types of witnesses that can be called. The National Academy of Arbitrators and administrative agencies have established rules and procedures to interpret the Code and address allegations of professional misconduct. It is important to recognize that some of these rules are based on ethical principles, while others are based on considerations of good practice. All important aspects of the arbitration process must remain confidential, unless both parties waive this requirement or the law requires or allows for disclosure. The arbitrator must strive to keep the total charges for services and expenses reasonable and consistent with the nature of the case or cases being decided.

According to Chertoff, if one of the arbitrators is present at the “hearing”, a party can ask them to issue a subpoena for a person who is not a party to present documents at the “hearing”. This will result in postponing the “hearing” until the fixed time for the hearing on the merits. The arbitrator must observe both the limitations and inclusions of the jurisdiction conferred by an agreement or other submission under which they are acting. They must also defend the dignity and integrity of their office and strive to provide an effective service to the parties. The arbitrator must also be aware of any collusive attempts by the parties to use arbitration for an improper purpose. If a case requires specialized knowledge that goes beyond the arbitrator's competence, they must decline the appointment, retire, or request technical assistance.

With prior consent from both parties, an assistant may be used to perform investigative, clerical, or preliminary drafting tasks under the direction of the arbitrator. This does not involve delegating any decision-making functions. When an arbitrator understands that a court decision is expected at the end of a hearing, they must comply with this understanding unless both parties agree otherwise. The Principal Administrator appoints an arbitration commissioner in each county where arbitration is established. The commissioner maintains a complete record of all cases subject to arbitration and an updated list of lawyers who agree to act as arbitrators. When an arbitrator's fees for services are determined primarily by a stipulated travel fee, they must establish in advance the basis for applying this fee and determining reimbursable expenses.

If both parties wish from the outset to authorize an arbitrator both to mediate and decide or submit recommendations on pending issues, they must inform them before their appointment.

Nicole Fratercangelo
Nicole Fratercangelo

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