304.32 Arbitral hearing.§ 304.32 Arbitral hearing.
(a) The Arbitrator may, in his sole discretion, schedule a hearing with the parties on one or more of the disputed issues identified in the statement of disputed issues pursuant to § 304.31(g)(1) of this part.
(b) The Arbitrator shall select the location, date, and time for the arbitral hearing, giving due consideration to any recommendations by the parties.
(c) The hearing shall commence within forty-five days after the pre-hearing conference (see § 304.31 of this part). The Arbitrator may, upon a showing by the parties that settlement is likely, extend the date for the hearing for up to thirty additional days, if further settlement discussions have been held pursuant to § 304.31(g)(2) of this part.
(d) The Arbitrator shall mail to each party notice of the hearing not later than twenty days in advance of the hearing, unless the parties by mutual agreement waive such notice. Such notice shall include a statement of the disputed issues to be addressed at the hearing. The Arbitrator need not mail a second notice to the parties if the date for the hearing is extended pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section.
(e) Any party may be represented by counsel at the hearing. A party who intends to be so represented shall notify the other parties and the Arbitrator of the name, address and telephone number of counsel at least three days prior to the date set for the hearing. When an attorney has initiated the arbitration by signing the joint request on behalf of a party, or when an attorney has filed a pleading on behalf of a party, or when notice has been given pursuant to § 304.31(e) of this part, such notice is deemed to have been given.
(f) The Arbitrator shall make the necessary arrangements for the making of a true and accurate record of the arbitral hearing.
(g) The Arbitrator shall make the necessary arrangements for the services of an interpreter upon the request of one or more of the parties.
(h) The Arbitrator may take adjournments upon the request of any party or upon the Arbitrator's own initiative and shall take such adjournment when all of the parties agree thereto.
(i) The Arbitrator shall administer oaths to all witnesses before they testify at the arbitral hearing.
(j)(1) A hearing shall be opened by the recording of the location, date, and time of the hearing, the presence of the Arbitrator and the parties, and counsel if any, and by the Arbitrator's acknowledgment for the record of all pleadings and all other documents that have been filed by the parties.
(2) The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the Arbitrator's jurisdiction as defined by § 304.20 of this part.
(3) The Arbitrator may, at any time, require oral statements clarifying the issues to be addressed at the hearing.
(4) The Arbitrator may require the parties to present witnesses for questioning by the Arbitrator and for direct and cross-examination by the parties on any of the disputed issues, except for any disputed issues concerning the selection or adequacy of the response action, which shall be governed by paragraph (j)(6) of this section.
(5) The Arbitrator shall define the scope of oral testimony. A party may present oral direct testimony only upon a showing of good cause why such testimony could not have been submitted in written form, or upon consent of all of the parties.
(6) Notwithstanding §§ 304.20(e)(1) and 304.20(e)(4) of this part, the Arbitrator may permit any party to supplement the documents which formed the basis for the selection of the response action (with additional documents, affidavits, or oral testimony), if any party demonstrates that supplementation is appropriate based upon applicable principles of administrative law.
(k)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (j)(6) of this section, exhibits and other documentary evidence not included in a party's pleadings, not exchanged prior to the pre-hearing conference pursuant to § 304.31(a) of this part, or not exchanged at the pre-hearing conference pursuant to § 304.31(g)(1) of this part, may be introduced at the hearing only upon a showing of good cause by the moving party or upon consent of all of the parties.
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (j)(6) of this section, witnesses not identified in a party's witness list may be presented at the hearing only upon a showing of good cause by the moving party or upon consent of all of the parties.
(3) The Arbitrator shall be the judge of the relevance and materiality of the evidence offered during the proceeding and of the applicability of legal privileges. Conformity to legal rules of evidence shall not be required.
(4) The Arbitrator may make such orders as may be necessary for in camera consideration of evidence for reasons of business confidentiality as defined by 40 CFR 2.201(e) and as consistent with section 104(e)(7) of CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. 9604(e)(7).
(l) The hearing may proceed in the absence of any party who, after due notice, fails to appear or fails to obtain an adjournment. If a party, after due notice, fails to appear or fails to obtain an adjournment, such party will be deemed to have waived the right to be present at the hearing.
(m) After all disputed issues have been heard by the Arbitrator, the Arbitrator may permit the parties to make closing statements, after which the Arbitrator shall declare the hearing closed.
(n) The hearing shall be completed within two weeks, unless the Arbitrator extends the hearing for good cause.
(o) The Arbitrator may permit the parties to submit proposed findings of fact, rulings, or orders within ten days after receipt of the hearing transcript or such longer time upon a finding of good cause.
(p) The parties may provide, by written agreement, for the waiver of the hearing.