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Remote Hearings and Depositions in Commercial Arbitration

Clifford D. Bloomfield
Clifford D. Bloomfield
JAMS Arbitrator, Neutral Evaluator, Special Master
Robert B. Davidson, Esq., FCIArb
Robert B. Davidson, Esq., FCIArb
JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator and Referee/Special Master

Published July 1, 2020

Commercial arbitrators using remote technology can make good on the promise of a fair, quick, and efficient resolution of the parties’ claims and defenses. Yet many parties continue to insist on in-person, face-to-face hearings, and many arbitrators continue to grant adjournments upon the request of one or both parties.

There is no question, however, that arbitrators have the authority to order remote hearings over the objection of one or all of the parties absent contrary language in the parties’ agreement. As a general matter, arbitrators have broad discretion over procedural matters, including when and how they conduct hearings. Provider rules memorialize this broad discretion, including the ability to order remote hearings.

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