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Rule 15-1106. Conduct of the hearing;evidence and civil procedure; right to counsel; right to record hearing; effectof failure to appear; postponements.

 

(a) Settingof hearing. The panel chair or the sole arbitrator,shall set a time and place for the hearing and shall cause written notice to beserved personally or by mail on all parties to the arbitration, and on theremaining panel members, not less than 30 days before the hearing. A party'sparticipation at a scheduled hearing shall constitute a waiver on his part ofany deficiency with respect to the filing of the notice of the hearing.

(b) Noticeof hearing and rights. In the notice of the hearing, the panel chair or solearbitrator shall inform the parties of their right to present witnesses anddocumentary evidence in support of their respective positions, and to berepresented by an attorney.

(c) Courtreporter and transcripts. Any party may have the hearing reported by acertified court reporter at his expense, by written request presented to thepanel chair or sole arbitrator at least three days prior to the date of thehearing. The chair or arbitrator shall confirm with the court reporter that therequesting party, and not the Bar, is responsible for all costs of the courtreporter. In such event, any other party to the arbitration shall be entitledto obtain, at his own expense, a copy of the reporter's transcript of thetestimony by arrangements made directly with the reporter. When no party to thearbitration requests that the hearing be reported, and the panel chair or solearbitrator deems it necessary to have the hearing reported, the panel chair orsole arbitrator may employ a certified court reporter for such purpose ifauthorized to do so by the executive director in writing.

(d)Testimony under oath. Upon request by any party to the arbitration or anymember of the panel, the testimony of witnesses shall be given under oath. Whenso requested, any member of the panel or the court reporter may administer anoath to the witness.

(e)Evidence and civil procedure. The panel shall be the judge of the relevancy andmateriality of evidence offered and shall rule on questions of procedure. Thepanel shall exercise all powers related to the conduct of the hearing.Conformity to legal rules of evidence or civil procedure shall not be required.

(f) Panelmember failure to appear. If, at the time set for any hearing, one of themembers of the panel is not present, the panel chair, or in the event of hisunavailability, the chair or his designee, in his sole discretion, shall decideeither to postpone the hearing, or with the consent of the parties, to proceedwith the hearing with the remaining two members of the panel as thearbitrators.

(g) Partyfailure to appear. If any party to an arbitration whohas been duly notified fails to appear at a scheduled hearing, the panel mayproceed with the hearing and determine the controversy upon the evidenceproduced.

(h)Adjournment and postponement. The panel chair or the sole arbitrator mayadjourn the hearing from time to time as necessary. Upon the request of a partyand for good cause, or upon the determination of the panel chair or solearbitrator, the panel chair or sole arbitrator may postpone the hearing fromtime to time.

(i) Failure of a licensed paralegal practitioner respondentto respond. Failure of a licensed paralegal practitioner respondent to file thefee arbitration response form shall not delay the scheduling of a hearing. Inany such case, the panel may, in its discretion, refuse to consider evidenceoffered by the licensed paralegal practitioner which would reasonably beexpected to have been disclosed in the response.

(j)Telephonic hearings. In its discretion, a panel may permit a party to appear orpresent witness testimony at the hearing by telephonic conference call. Thecost of the telephone call shall be paid by the party.

(k)Reopening of hearing. With good cause shown, the panel may reopen the hearingat any time before a decision is issued.

(l) Burden of proof and standard. The burden of proof shall be onthe licensed paralegal practitioner to prove the reasonableness of the fee by apreponderance of the evidence.

Effective November 1, 2018