Each arbitrator will designate a minimum of twelve (12) hearing dates per year, exclusive of the period July 1 through September 10 for non-expedited cases, for use by the parties to this Agreement. Upon being appointed, each arbitrator will, after consultation with the Notice Arbitrator, provide to the NFLPA and the Management Council specified hearing dates for such ensuing period, which process will be repeated on a regular basis thereafter. The parties will notify each arbitrator thirty (30) days in advance of which dates the following month are going to be used by the parties. The designated arbitrator will set the hearing on his next reserved date in the Club city unless the parties agree otherwise. If a grievance is set for hearing and the hearing date is then postponed by a party within thirty (30) days of the hearing, the postponement fee of the arbitrator will be borne by the postponing party unless the arbitrator determines that the postponement was for good cause. Should good cause be found, the parties will bear any postponement costs equally. If the arbitrator in question cannot reschedule the hearing within thirty (30) days of the postponed date, the case may be reassigned by the Notice Arbitrator to another panel member who has a hearing date available within the thirty (30) day period. At the hearing, the parties to the grievance and the NFLPA and Management Council will have the right to present, by testimony or otherwise, and subject to Section 5, any evidence relevant to the grievance. All hearings will be transcribed.
If a witness is unable to attend the hearing, the party offering the testimony shall inform the other party of the identity and unavailability of the witness to attend the hearing. At the hearing or within fourteen (14) days thereafter, the parties will agree upon dates to take testimony of unavailable witnesses, which dates will be within forty-five (45) days of the parties’ receipt of the hearing transcript. The record should be closed sixty (60) days after the hearing date unless mutually extended notwithstanding any party’s failure to present post-hearing testimony within the above-mentioned time period. If a witness is unavailable to attend the hearing, the witness’ testimony may be taken by telephone conference call if the parties agree. In instances in which the parties agree that the material facts giving rise to the grievance are not in dispute, the arbitrator shall have the authority to decide the merits of the case solely on the written submissions of the parties. In cases where the amount claimed is less than $25,000, the parties may agree to hold the hearing by telephone conference call. If either party requests post-hearing briefs, the parties shall prepare and simultaneously submit briefs except in grievances involving non-suspension Club discipline where less than $25,000 is at issue, in which cases briefs will not be submitted, unless requested by the arbitrator.
In each instance in which briefs are not submitted, within fourteen (14) days of the closing of the record, either party may submit to the Arbitrator prior opinions for the arbitrator’s consideration in issuing the decision. Briefs must be submitted to the arbitrator no later than sixty (60) days after receipt of the last transcript.