After an arbitrator is chosen, he or she will make procedural decisions. If the parties do not agree what evidence can be submitted, or other procedural questions, the arbitrator will decide those issues. The arbitrator will tell the parties when documents are due and when hearings will be held. If one side asks for arbitration to be delayed to have more time to get ready, the arbitrator will decide whether the delay is fair to both sides.
In mandatory court arbitration, the case will usually have a hearing within 7 weeks after the arbitrator is chosen. An arbitrator should issue a decision within 20 days after the hearing is finished. In voluntary arbitration, a contract or other agreement of the parties may set the timelines.
Before the hearing, each party must give the arbitrator and the other side a list of witnesses who will testify at the arbitration hearing and a description of any evidence the party will present. Each party must also give the other side contact information for all witnesses and documents and let the other side see and copy any documents they plan to use as evidence before the hearing.
Arbitration hearings are not usually recorded by a court reporter or on a tape. If one party wants a recording of the arbitration, they will have to pay for it.
Witnesses. At the hearing, witnesses are sworn in, just like in court. Then, the parties or their lawyers can ask questions and introduce evidence. The arbitrator may ask the witnesses questions. Sometimes the arbitrator will accept written statements from witnesses instead of having those people appear in person at the arbitration.Other evidence
The arbitrator may accept other evidence from the parties or their lawyers. If the arbitrator thinks something important is missing, he or she may schedule another hearing or ask the parties or their lawyers to submit other evidence after the hearing.
Talking to the arbitrator. Like a judge, the arbitrator cannot talk to one side about the case without the other side there. There are some exceptions, like if the other side agrees that it is okay for the arbitrator to talk to you, or if the other side does not show up to a hearing.
No one can tell the arbitrator about any offers to settle the case unless all of the parties agree.