Arbitration Rules 25 -42; Guidelines for Christian Conciliation; Rules of Procedure

 

C. ARBITRATION RULES

 

25. Description of Issues and Remedies

At the outset of arbitration, the parties shall describe the issues and desired remedies that they wish the arbitrators to consider. The arbitrators shall consider only those issues that are consistent with the parties’ original arbitration or mediation/arbitration agreement, or which are contemplated by an earlier contract between the parties that contains a conciliation clause.

26. Approval of Panel

At the outset of arbitration, the parties shall sign forms approving the appointment of the arbitrators. If the parties refuse or are unable to agree on arbitrators, arbitrators shall be appointed pursuant to Rule 10.

27. Oaths or Vows

Before proceeding with arbitration, each arbitrator may take an oath or vow of office. The arbitrators have discretion to require parties or witnesses to testify under oath or vow, provided that making an oath or vow does not violate the person’s sincerely held religious beliefs. Oaths or vows may be administered by the arbitrators.

28. Pre-hearing Conferences and Preliminary Hearings

A.  At the request of the parties or at the discretion of the Administrator, a preliminary conference with a case administrator and the parties may be scheduled to arrange for an exchange of information and the stipulation of uncontested facts to expedite the arbitration proceedings.

B.  In large or complex cases, at the discretion of the arbitrators or the Administrator, a preliminary hearing may be scheduled with the arbitrators and the parties to arrange for the production of relevant evidence, to identify potential witnesses, to schedule further hearings, and to consider other matters that will expedite the arbitration proceedings.

29. Temporary Relief

A.  A party may request immediate temporary relief (e.g., temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction) to safeguard property or rights that are subject to a contract clause or agreement that requires arbitration or mediation/arbitration under these rules. Such extraordinary relief will not be granted unless the moving party has demonstrated, by a clear showing (1) a substantial likelihood of prevailing on the merits; (2) a substantial threat of irreparable harm if the temporary relief is not granted; (3) that the threatened injury outweighs any harm that may result to the non-movant from an injunction or other relief; and (4) that the temporary relief will not undermine public interests.

B.  Temporary relief may be granted at any stage of the conciliation process and shall be fashioned so as not to substantially prejudice the rights of the parties or the final determination of the dispute.

C.  Matters of temporary relief shall be decided by the arbitrators, or, if they are not yet appointed, by temporary arbitrators appointed by the Administrator. If an Administrator has not yet been appointed, the Institute for Christian Conciliation shall serve as Administrator for purposes of this rule.

D.  A request for temporary relief is subject to Rule 40C.

E.  Decisions regarding temporary relief may be entered in any court otherwise having jurisdiction.

30. Discovery and Distribution of Documents

Reasonable discovery (including oral depositions, written interrogatories, and production of documents) may be allowed to identify issues, relevant evidence, and names of witnesses. If the parties cannot agree on the scope of discovery or allocation of costs, the issue shall be submitted to the arbitrators for a decision, which shall be final and binding. The Administrator or the arbitrators may require the parties, at their own expense, to deliver to the Administrator and to the other parties copies of the documents they plan to introduce and a list of the witnesses they plan to call.

31. Notice of Arbitration Meetings

The Administrator or the lead arbitrator shall give parties at least five (5) days written notice of the time, place, and conditions of any arbitration meeting, unless the parties agree to modify or waive such notice. It shall be the parties’ responsibility to notify their witnesses of the time and place of all arbitration meetings.

32. Delivery and Notice

All documents shall be delivered in person, by facsimile transmission (fax), by United States mail, or by private carrier to the last known address of the parties as given to the Administrator. Notice and other documents shall be considered to have been received on the day they are personally received or transmitted by fax, or on the day after they were postmarked, whichever is earlier.

33. Communication with Arbitrators

There shall be no direct communication from the parties to an arbitrator other than at joint hearings. Any other oral or written communications from the parties to the arbitrators shall be directed to the Administrator for transmittal to the arbitrators and all other parties.

34. Arbitration Proceedings

A.  Arbitration proceedings shall be conducted according to the same format as mediation proceedings (see Rule 22), except as limited by these Arbitration Rules.

B.  The arbitrator shall have the power to rule on his or her own jurisdiction, including any objections with respect to the existence, scope, or validity of the arbitration agreement. A party may object to the jurisdiction of the arbitrator or to the arbitrability of a claim. The arbitrator may rule on such objections as a preliminary matter or as a part of the final award.

35. Record of Proceedings

Any party wishing a stenographic record of an arbitration meeting shall make arrangements directly with a stenographer and shall notify the other parties of such arrangements in advance of the meeting. The requesting party or parties shall pay the cost of such record and shall provide the Administrator with a copy, and make copies of the record available to all other parties for the cost of reproduction. A stenographic record is subject to the limitations of Rule 16, and may be used only for appealing an arbitration decision. Video and audio recordings of meetings may be made only with the written consent of all parties and the Administrator.

36. Evidence in Arbitration

Subject to the provisions of Rules 14 and 24(D), all evidence used in arbitration shall be taken in the presence of all of the arbitrators and all of the parties, except where any of the parties has waived the right to be present or when arbitration proceeds pursuant to Rule 37.

37. Arbitration in the Absence of a Party

Unless the law provides to the contrary, arbitration may proceed in the absence of any party who, after due notice, fails to be present or fails to obtain an adjournment. A decision shall not be made solely because of the default of a party. The arbitrators shall require the party who is present to submit such evidence as the arbitrators may require for the making of a decision. The arbitrators may, but need not, allow the absent party an opportunity to appear at a subsequent hearing attended by all parties.

38. Legal or Scriptural Briefs

The arbitrators may request or consider briefs or position papers that set forth the parties’ understandings of the legal, factual, or scriptural issues.

39. Reopening of Hearings

The arbitrators may reopen a case for good cause at any time before a final decision is rendered.

40. Decisions

A.  The arbitrators shall render a written decision (award). Whenever possible, it shall be issued within thirty (30) days after the closing of the final hearing.

B.  The arbitrators may grant any remedy or relief that they deem scriptural, just, and equitable, and within the scope of the agreement of the parties, including, but not limited to, specific performance of a contract. In making their decision, the arbitrators shall consider, but are not limited by, the remedies requested by the parties.

C.  The arbitrators may grant to the Administrator any fees, costs, and expenses, including attorneys fees, that are due to the Administrator under the Arbitration Agreement or the Fees and Costs Agreement, or that are reasonably incurred as a result of the conciliation process. The arbitrators may also grant to any party any reasonable fees, costs, and expenses related to the resolution of a dispute, including attorney fees. Grounds for such a decision may include but are not limited to (1) when another party unreasonably refused to settle a dispute and unnecessarily increased the costs of resolving the matter; or (2) when a party necessarily incurred significantly higher costs than another party, such as travel expenses, in order to participate in conciliation. A grant of fees, costs, and expenses may be made only after all parties who may be affected by the decision have had a reasonable opportunity to comment on the proposed decision.

D.  The arbitrators may, but need not, inform the parties of the reasoning by which the decision was reached.

E.  The arbitrators’ decision shall be legally binding on the parties, except as provided by law, and may be filed as a judgment and enforced by a court of law. It shall be the sole responsibility of the parties to file a decision with the court and, if necessary, to have it enforced.

F.  If the parties settle their dispute during the course of arbitration, the arbitrators may set forth the terms of the agreed settlement in a decision.

G.  The arbitration decision is final and cannot be reconsidered or appealed except as provided by Rule 41 and/or civil law.

41. Request for Reconsideration

A.  A party may submit a request to the Administrator for reconsideration of a decision within twenty (20) calendar days after the day the decision was received by the parties.

B.  A request for reconsideration will not be considered if it simply asks the arbitrators to review the evidence and change their decision.

C.  A request for reconsideration is appropriate only when the arbitrators (1) have deviated from these rules or from the arbitration agreement; (2) have patently misunderstood a party; (3) have failed to address an issue or have made a decision outside the issues presented to the arbitrators by the parties; or (4) have made a miscalculation or a mistake of identification.

D.  The request, which must be sent to the Administrator and to the other parties, shall set forth in writing the reasons for which reconsideration is sought, including a specific statement of the claimed mistake, prejudice, or harm.

E.  If the request is granted by the arbitrators, they shall define the issues that are being reconsidered and allow each party to submit whatever supplementary information is deemed appropriate. If the request is denied, the requesting party will be responsible for paying any expenses or fees incurred by the Administrator or by the arbitrators as a result of the request.

42. Conflict of Rules

Should these Rules vary from state or federal arbitration statutes, these Rules shall control except where the state or federal rules specifically indicate that they may not be superseded.