Hearing Officers. For appeals under Section 1(a) above, the Commissioner shall, after consultation with the Executive Director of the NFLPA, appoint one or more designees to serve as hearing officers. For appeals under Section 1(b) above, the parties shall, on an annual basis, jointly select two (2) or more designees to serve as hearing officers. For hearings under Section 1(e)(i) above, the Disciplinary Officer shall serve as the hearing officer. The salary and reasonable expenses for the services of the Disciplinary Officer and the designees referenced in this section shall be shared equally by the NFL and the NFLPA. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Commissioner may serve as hearing officer in any appeal under Section 1(a) of this Article at his discretion. In no event will the Commissioner serve as hearing officer in hearings under Section 1(e)(i).
Representation. In any hearing provided for in this Article, a player may be accompanied by counsel of his choice. The NFLPA and NFL have the right to attend all hearings provided for in this Article and to present, by testimony or otherwise, any evidence relevant to the hearing.
Telephone Hearings. Upon agreement of the parties, hearings under this Article may be conducted by telephone conference call or videoconference.
Decision. Except as otherwise provided in Section 1(e) above, as soon as practicable following the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing officer will render a written decision which will constitute full, final and complete disposition of the dispute and will be binding upon the player(s), Club(s) and the parties to this Agreement with respect to that dispute. Any discipline imposed pursuant to Section 1(b) may only be affirmed, reduced, or vacated by the hearing officer, and may not be increased.
Costs. Unless the Commissioner determines otherwise, each party will bear the cost of its own witnesses, counsel and other expenses associated with the appeal. (f) Additional Procedures for Appeals and Hearings Under Sections 1(a) and 1(e)(i).
Appeal hearings under Section 1(a) will be scheduled to commence within ten (10) days following receipt of the notice of appeal, except that hearings on suspensions issued during the playing season (defined for this Section as the first preseason game through the Super Bowl) will be scheduled for the second Tuesday following the receipt of the notice of appeal, with the intent that the appeal shall be heard no fewer than eight (8) days and no more than thirteen (13) days following the suspension, absent mutual agreement of the parties or a finding by the hearing officer of extenuating circumstances.
Hearings conducted by the Disciplinary Officer under Section 1(e)(i) will be scheduled to commence within thirty (30) days following the NFL’s transmission of the investigative report and/or law enforcement or court documents forming the basis for review to the player, NFLPA and Disciplinary Officer, except that, during the playing season, the hearing will be scheduled to take place on the fourth Tuesday following the receipt of the investigative report absent mutual agreement of the parties or a finding by the hearing officer of extenuating circumstances. The investigative report shall contain a summary of the evidence found, whether inculpatory or exculpatory.
If unavailability of counsel is the basis for a continuance, a new hearing shall be scheduled on or before the Tuesday following the original hearing date, without exception.
In appeals under Section 1(a), the parties shall exchange copies of any exhibits upon which they intend to rely no later than three (3) calendar days prior to the hearing.
In hearings conducted under Section 1 (e) (i), the NFL shall produce any transcripts or audio recordings of witness interviews, any expert reports and court documents obtained or prepared by the NFL as part of its investigation, and any evidentiary material referenced in the investigative report that was not included as an exhibit at least ten (10) calendar days before the hearing. The parties shall exchange copies of any exhibits upon which they intend to rely that were not previously produced no later than five (5) calendar days prior to the hearing.
Failure to timely provide any intended exhibit shall preclude its introduction at the hearing.
Record; Posthearing Briefs. Unless the parties agree otherwise, all hearings conducted under Sections 1(a) and 1(e) of this Article shall be transcribed. Posthearing briefs will not be permitted absent agreement of the NFL and NFLPA or the request of the hearing officer. If permitted, such briefs shall be limited to five pages (single-spaced) and must be filed no later than three (3) business days following the conclusion of the hearing.