Informally. The hearings are intended to be as informal as possible but broadly based upon the judicial model. Formal rules of evidence are inapplicable and the arbitrator makes rulings on the admissibility of evidence based on common sense and fairness. All parties are given the opportunity for a full hearing.
All proceedings are confidential. The hearings are not open to the public or anyone who is not involved in the dispute. Everyone connected with the arbitration is instructed not to reveal anything about the arbitration to any non-party.
In the absence of special arrangements, no transcript or recording of the proceeding will be made. Any party desiring a transcript or recording must make appropriate arrangements and bear the costs, which, in the absence of agreement, shall not be taxable. If any transcript or recording is made, a copy shall be furnished to the arbitrators upon request and to the other parties for review and/or copying at the other party's expense.
The parties are encouraged to cooperate in the exchange of pertinent information and documents prior to any hearing; however formal discovery is generally discouraged and is allowed only by agreement or by order of the arbitrator.
The arbitrator will render a written decision within thirty days following the close of the hearing; however the arbitrator will not usually state the reasons for the decision.
The decision of the arbitrator is final. There is no appeal provided for. The Louisiana Arbitration Law (La. R.S. 9:4201, et seq.) provides limited means of vacating an arbitration award; however the vacating of an award requires judicial involvement and is not provided for under the LSBA program.