Friday, October 24, 2014

Meat Import Council of America
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Rules for Arbitration of Disputes


ARBITRATION RULES

ARBITRATION RULES

 

(As amended November 2013 )

 

For the Arbitration

of Future Disputes:_____

 

The Meat Import Council of America, Inc. recommends the following arbitration clause for insertion in all commercial contracts:

 

STANDARD ARBITRATION CLAUSE

 

“Any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to this contract, or the breach thereof, shall be settled by arbitration by the Meat Import Council of America, Inc. in accordance with the Arbitration Rules of the Meat Import Council of America, Inc., and judgment upon the award rendered by the Arbitrator(s) may be entered in any Court having jurisdiction thereof.”

 

For the Submission

of Existing Disputes:_______

 

“We, the undersigned parties, hereby agree to submit to arbitration under the Arbitration Rules of the Meat Import Council of America, Inc. the following controversy: (cite briefly).  We further agree that we will faithfully observe this agreement and the Rules and that we will abide by and perform any award rendered by the Arbitrator(s) and that a judgment of the Court having jurisdiction may be entered upon the award.”

 

COMMERCIAL ARBITRATION RULES

 

Section 1. AGREEMENT OF PARTIES:

 

The parties shall be deemed to have made these Rules part of their arbitration agreement whenever they have provided for arbitration by the Meat Import Council of America, Inc. (hereinafter “MICA”) or under its Rules.  These Rules and any amendment thereto shall apply in the form obtaining at the time the arbitration is initiated.

 

The parties may be located or resident in the United States or elsewhere.  When one or more of the parties is located or resident other than in the United States, the arbitration shall be an “international arbitration.”

 

Section 2. NAME OF TRIBUNAL:

 

Any Tribunal constituted by the parties for the settlement of their dispute under these Rules shall be called the Commercial Arbitration Tribunal.

 


Section 3.  ADMINISTRATOR:

 

When parties agree to arbitrate under these Rules, or when they provide for arbitration by the MICA and an arbitration is initiated thereunder, they thereby constitute MICA the administrator of the arbitration.  The authority and obligations of the administrator are prescribed in the agreement of the parties and in these Rules.

 

Section 4. DELEGATION OF DUTIES:

 

The duties of the MICA under these Rules may be carried out through the Tribunal Administrators, or such other officers or committees as the MICA may direct.

 

Section 5. OFFICE OF TRIBUNAL:

 

The general office of a Tribunal is the headquarters of the MICA, which may, however, assign the administration of an arbitration elsewhere.

 

Section 6. INITIATION UNDER AN ARBITRATION PROVISION IN A CONTRACT

 

Arbitration under an arbitration provision in a contract may be initiated in the following manner:

 

(a)           The initiating party shall give notice to the other party of its intention to arbitrate (Demand), which notice shall contain a statement setting forth the nature of the dispute, the amount involved, if any, the remedy sought, and

 

 (b)    By filing at the Office of the Executive Director of the MICA a copy of said notice, together with a copy of the arbitration provisions of the contract, together with the appropriate administrative fee as provided in the Administrative Fee Schedule.

 

The MICA shall give notice of such filing to the party.  If so desired, the party upon whom the Demand for Arbitration is made may file an answering statement in duplicate with the MICA within 14 days (or 21 days in the case of an international arbitration) after notice from the MICA in which event said party shall simultaneously send a copy of the answer to the other party.  If a monetary claim is made in the answer the appropriate fee provided in the Fee Schedule shall be forwarded to the MICA with the answer.  If no answer is filed within the stated time, it will be assumed that the claim is denied.  Failure to file an answer shall not operate to delay the arbitration.

 

Section 7. CHANGE OF CLAIM

 

After filing of the claim, if either party desires to make any new or different claim, such claim shall be made in writing and filed with the MICA, and a copy thereof shall be mailed to the other party,  who shall have a period of 14 days (or 21 days in the case of an international arbitration) from the date of such mailing within which to file an answer with the MICA.  After the Arbitrator is appointed, however, no new or different claim may be submitted except with the Arbitrator’s consent.

 


Section 8. INITIATION UNDER A SUBMISSION

 

Parties to any existing dispute may commence an arbitration under these Rules by filing at the Office of the Executive Director a copy of a written agreement to arbitrate under these Rules (Submission), signed by the parties.  It shall contain a statement of the matter in dispute, the amount of money involved, if any, and the remedy sought, together with the appropriate administrative fee as provided in the Fee Schedule.

 

Section 9.  FIXING OF LOCALE OF ARBITRATION HEARING

 

Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, all arbitration hearings shall be conducted by teleconference or video conference.  The parties may mutually agree to conduct such hearings live, and the locale of any live hearings should generally be agreed to coincide with a MICA or other industry conference so as to minimize costs of travel and participation.    The designation of date and mode of arbitration hearing shall be indicated by the parties within  14 days (or 21 days in the case of an international arbitration) from the date of filing the Demand or Submission.    If the parties desire different modes or locations of hearings, the Arbitration Panel shall decide the mode or location in light of the convenience to the parties and Arbitrators, the location of witnesses and other relevant factors.

 

Section 10. APPOINTMENT OF ARBITRATORS

 

Unless the parties agree to some other procedure, each party shall appoint an Arbitrator of its choice within 14 days (or 21 days in the case of an international arbitration) from initiation of arbitration, and shall notify the Executive Director of their choices.    Within 14 days (or 21 days in the case of an international arbitration) thereafter, the two Arbitrators shall agree upon a neutral Arbitrator  and shall notify the Executive Director.  If the two Arbitrators chosen by the parties so request, the Executive Director shall supply a list of potential neutral Arbitrators for their selection.  In the absence of agreement, each Arbitrator shall notify the Executive Director, and the MICA shall appoint the third Arbitrator, or, in its discretion, submit an additional list.  The third Arbitrator agreed upon or appointed pursuant to this section shall act as Chairman of the Panel.

 

Section 11. QUALIFICATIONS OF ARBITRATOR:

 

Any third Arbitrator appointed pursuant to Section 11 shall be neutral, subject to disqualification for the reasons specified in Section 14.  If the agreement of the parties names an Arbitrator or specifies any other method of appointing an Arbitrator, or if the parties specifically agree in writing, such Arbitrator shall not be subject to disqualification of said reasons.

 

Section 12. NOTICE TO ARBITRATOR OF APPOINTMENT:

 

Notice of the appointment of the neutral Arbitrator, whether appointed by the parties or by the MICA, shall be mailed to the Arbitrator by the MICA, together with a copy of these Rules, and the signed acceptance of the Arbitrator shall be filed prior to the opening of the first hearing.

 


Section 13.  DISCLOSURE AND CHALLENGE PROCEDURE

 

A person appointed as a neutral Arbitrator shall disclose to the MICA any circumstances likely to affect impartiality, including any bias or any financial or personal interest in the result of the arbitration or any past or present relationship with the parties or their counsel.  Upon receipt of such information from such Arbitrator or other source, the MICA shall communicate such information to the parties, and, if it deems it appropriate to do so, to the Arbitrator and others.  Thereafter, the MICA shall determine whether the Arbitrator should be disqualified and, if so, shall inform the parties of its decision, which shall be conclusive.

 

Section 14.  VACANCIES

 

If any Arbitrator should resign, die, withdraw, refuse, be disqualified or be unable to perform the duties of the office, the MICA may, on proof satisfactory to it, declare the office vacant.  Vacancies shall be filled in accordance with the applicable provisions of these Rules and the matter shall be reheard unless the parties shall agree otherwise.

 

Section 15.  TIME AND PLACE: 

 

The Arbitrators shall fix the time and place for each hearing.  The MICA shall advise each party thereof at least five days in advance, unless the parties by mutual agreement waive such notice or modify the terms thereof.

 

Section 16.  REPRESENTATION BY COUNSEL: 

 

Any party may be represented by counsel.  A party intending to be so represented shall notify the other party and the MICA of the name and address of counsel at least three days prior to the date set for the hearing at which counsel is first to appear.  When an arbitration is initiated by counsel, or where an attorney replied for the other party, such notice id deemed to have been given.

 

Section 17.  STENOGRAPHIC RECORD

 

The MICA shall make the necessary arrangements for the taking of a stenographic record whenever such record is requested by a party.  The requesting party or parties shall pay the cost of such record as provided in Section 45.

 

Section 18.  INTERPRETER

 

The MICA shall make the necessary arrangements for the services of an interpreter upon the request of one or more of the parties, who shall assume the cost of such service.

 

Section 19.  ATTENDANCE AT HEARINGS

 

The Arbitration shall maintain the privacy of the hearings unless the law provides to the contrary.  Any person having a direct interest in the arbitration is entitled to attend hearings.  The Arbitrators shall otherwise have the power to require the exclusion of any witness, other than a party or other essential person, during the testimony of any other witness.  It shall be discretionary with the Arbitrators to determine the propriety of the attendance of any other person.

Section 20.  ADJOURNMENTS:

 

The Arbitrators may take adjournments upon the request of a party or upon the Arbitrators own initiative and shall take such adjournments when all of the parties agree thereto.

 

Section 21.  OATHS:

 

Before proceeding with the first hearing or with the examination of the file, each Arbitrator may take an oath of office, and if required by law, shall do so.  The Arbitrators have discretion to require witnesses to testify under oath administered by any duly qualified person or, if required by law or demanded by either party, shall do so.

 

Section 22.  MAJORITY DECISION:

 

Whenever there is more than one Arbitrator, all decisions of the Arbitrators must be by at least a majority.  The award must also be made by at least a majority unless the concurrence of all is expressly required by the arbitration agreement or by law.

 

Section 23.  ORDER OF PROCEEDINGS:

 

A hearing shall be opened by the filing of the oath of the Arbitrators; where required, and by the recording of the place, time and date of the hearing, the presence of the Arbitrators and parties, and counsel, if any, and by the receipt by the Arbitrators of the statement of the claim and answer, if any.

 

The Arbitrators may, at the beginning of the hearing, ask for statements clarifying the issues involved.

 

The complaining party shall then present its claim and proofs and its witnesses, who shall submit to questions or other examination.  The defending party shall then present its defense and proofs and its witnesses, who shall submit to questions or other examination.  The Arbitrators have discretion to vary this procedure but shall afford full and equal opportunity to all parties for the presentation of any material or relevant proofs.

 

Exhibits, when offered by either party, may be received in evidence by the Arbitrators.

 

The names and addresses of all witnesses and exhibits in order received shall be made a part of the record.

 

Section 24.  ARBITRATION IN THE ABSENCE OF A PARTY:

 

Unless the law provides to the contrary, the arbitration may proceed in the absence of any party which, after due notice, fails to be present or fails to obtain an adjournment.  An award shall not be made solely of the default of a party.  The Arbitrators shall require the party who is present to submit such evidence as the Arbitrators may require for the making of an award.

 


Section 25.  EVIDENCE:

 

The parties may offer such evidence as they desire and shall produce such additional evidence as the Arbitrators may deem necessary to an understanding and determination of the dispute.  The Arbitrators, when authorized by law to subpoena witnesses or documents, may do so upon the Arbitrators’ own initiative or upon the request of any party.  The Arbitrators shall be the judge of the relevancy and materiality of the evidence offered and conformity to legal rules of evidence shall not be necessary.  All evidence shall be taken in the presence of all the Arbitrators and of all the parties, except where any of the parties is absent in default or has waived the right to be present.

 

Section 26.  EVIDENCE BY AFFIDAVIT AND FILING OF DOCUMENTS:

 

The Arbitrators shall receive and consider the evidence of witnesses by affidavit, but shall give it only such weight as the Arbitrators deem it entitled to after consideration of any objections made to its admission.

 

All documents not filed with the Arbitrators at the hearing, but arranged for at the hearing or subsequently by agreement of the parties, shall be filed with the MICA for transmission to the Arbitrators.  All parties shall be afforded opportunity to examine such documents.

 

Section 27.  INSPECTION OR INVESTIGATION:

 

Whenever the Arbitrators deem it necessary to make an inspection or investigation in connection with the arbitration, the Arbitrators shall direct the MICA to advise the parties of such intention.  The Arbitrators shall set the time and MICA shall notify the parties thereof.  Any party who so desires may be present at such inspection or investigation.  In the event that one or both parties are not present at the inspection or investigation, the Arbitrators shall make a verbal or written report to the parties and afford them an opportunity to comment.

 

Section 28.  CONSERVATION OF PROPERTY:

 

The Arbitrators may issue such orders as may deemed necessary to safeguard the property which is the subject matter of the arbitration without prejudice to the rights of the parties or to the final determination of the dispute.

 

Section 29.  CLOSING OF HEARINGS:

 

The Arbitrators shall specifically inquire of all parties whether they have any further proofs to offer or witnesses to be heard.  Upon receiving negative replies, the Arbitrators shall declare the hearings closed and a minute thereof shall be recorded.  If briefs are to be filed, the hearings shall be declared closed as of the final date set by the Arbitrators for the receipt of the briefs.  If documents are to be filed as provided for in Section 27 and the date set for their receipt is later than that set for the receipt of the briefs, the later date shall be the date of closing the hearing.  The time limit within which the Arbitrators are required to make the award shall commence to run, in the absence of other agreements by the parties, upon the closing of the hearings.

 


Section 30.  REOPENING OF HEARINGS:

 

The hearings may be reopened on the Arbitrators’ own motion, or upon application of a party at any time before the award is made.  If the reopening of the hearings could prevent the making of the award within the specified time agreed upon by the parties in the contract out of which the controversy has arisen, the matter may not be reopened, unless the parties agree upon the extension of such time limit.  When no specific date is fixed in the contract, the Arbitrators may reopen the hearings, and the Arbitrators shall have thirty days from the closing of the reopened hearings within which to make an award.

Section 31.  WAIVER OF ORAL HEARINGS:

 

The parties may provide, by written agreement, for the waiver of oral hearings.  If the parties are unable to agree as to the procedure, the MICA shall specify a fair and equitable procedure.

 

Section 32.  WAIVER OF RULES:

 

Any party who proceeds with the arbitration after knowledge that any provision or requirement of these Rules has not been complied with an who fails to state objection thereto in writing, shall be deemed to have waived the right to object.

 

Section 33.  EXTENSION OF TIME:

 

The parties may modify any period of time by mutual agreement.  The MICA for good cause may extend any period of time established by these Rules, except the time for making the award.  The MICA shall notify the parties of any such extension of time and its reasons therefor.

 

Section 34.  COMMUNICATION WITH ARBITRATORS AND SERVING OF NOTICES:

 

(a)     There shall be no communication between the parties and a neutral Arbitrator relating in any way to the arbitration other than at oral hearings.  Any other oral or written communications from the parties to the Arbitrator relating to the arbitration shall be directed to the MICA for transmittal to the Arbitrators.

 

(b)     Each party to an agreement which provides for arbitration under these Rules shall be deemed to have consented that any papers, notices or process necessary or proper for the initiation or continuation of an arbitration under these Rules and for any court action in connection therewith or for the entry of judgment on any award made thereunder may be served upon such party by e-mail addressed to such party or its attorney at its last know address or by personal service, within or without the state or other jurisdiction wherein the arbitration is to be held (whether such party be within or without the United States of America), provided that reasonable opportunity to be heard with regard thereto has been granted such party.

 


Section 35.  TIME OF AWARD:

 

The award shall be made promptly by the Arbitrators and, unless otherwise agreed by the parties, or specified by law, no later than thirty days from the date of closing the hearings, or if oral hearings have been waived, from the date of transmitting the final statements and proofs to the Arbitrators.

 

Section 36.  FORM OF AWARD:

 

The award shall be in writing and shall be signed either by the sole Arbitrator or by at least a majority if there be more than one.  It shall be executed in the manner required by law.

 

Section 37.  SCOPE OF AWARD:

 

The Arbitrators may grant any remedy or relief which the Arbitrators deem just and equitable and within the scope of the agreement of the parties, including, but not limited to, specific performance of a contract.  The Arbitrators, in the award, shall assess arbitration fees and expenses in favor of any party and, in the event any administrative fees or expenses are due to MICA, in favor of the MICA.

 

Section 38.  AWARD UPON SETTLEMENT:

 

If the parties settle their dispute during the course of the arbitration, the Arbitrators, upon their request, may set forth the terms of the agreed settlement in an award.

 

Section 39.  DELIVERY OF AWARD TO PARTIES

 

Parties shall accept as legal delivery of the award the placing of the award or a true copy thereof in the mail by the MICA, addressed to such party at its last know address or to its attorney, or personal service of the award, or the filing of the award in any manner which may be prescribed by law.

 

Section 40.  RELEASE OF DOCUMENTS FOR JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS:

 

The MICA shall, upon the written request of a party, furnish to such party, at is expense, certified facsimiles of any papers in the MICA’s possession that may be required in judicial proceedings relating to the arbitration.

 

Section 41.  APPLICATIONS TO COURT -

 

 (a)    No judicial proceedings by a party relating to the subject matter of the arbitration shall be deemed a waiver of the party’s right to arbitrate.

 

 (b)    The MICA is not a necessary party in judicial proceedings relating to the arbitration.

 

 (c)    Parties to these Rules shall be deemed to have consented that judgment upon the arbitration award may be entered in any Court having jurisdiction thereof.

 


Section 42.  ADMINISTRATIVE FEES:

 

As a non-profit organization, the MICA shall prescribe an Administrative Fee schedule and a Refund Schedule to compensate it for the cost of providing administrative services.  The schedule in effect at the time of filing or the time of refund shall be applicable.

 

The administrative fees shall be advanced by the initiating party or parties, subject to final apportionment by the Arbitrators in the award.

 

When a matter is withdrawn or settled, the refund shall be made in accordance with the Refund Schedule.

 

The MICA in the event of extreme hardship on the part of any party, may defer or reduce the administrative fee.

 

Section 43.  FEE WITH ORAL HEARINGS ARE WAIVED:

 

Where all oral hearings are waived under Section 32, the Administrative Fee Schedule shall apply.

 

Section 44.  EXPENSES:

 

The expenses of witnesses for either side shall be paid by the party producing such witnesses.

 

The cost of the stenographic record, if any is made, and all transcripts thereof,  shall be prorated equally among all parties ordering copies unless they shall otherwise agree and shall be paid for by the responsible parties directly to the reporting agency.

 

All other expenses of the arbitration, including required traveling and other expenses of the Arbitrators and of MICA representatives, and the expenses or any witness or the cost of any proofs produced at the direct request of the Arbitrators, shall be borne equally by the parties, unless they agreed otherwise, or unless the Arbitrators, in the award, assess such expenses or any part thereof against any specified party or parties.

 

Section 45.  ARBITRATOR’S FEE:

 

Members of the Panel of Arbitrators serve without fee in commercial arbitrations.  In prolonged or in special cases the parties may agree to the payment of a fee.

 

Any arrangements for the compensation of a neutral Arbitrator shall be made through the MICA and not directly by the Arbitrators with the parties.

 

Section 46.  DEPOSITS:

 

The MICA may require the parties to deposit in advance such sums of money as it deems necessary to defray the expense of the arbitration, including the Arbitrators’ fees, if any, and shall render an accounting to the parties and return any unexpended balance.

 


Section 47.  INTERPRETATION AND APPLICATION OF RULES:

 

The Arbitrators shall interpret and apply these Rules insofar as they relate to the Arbitrators’ powers and duties.  When there is more than one Arbitrator and a difference arises among them concerning the meaning or application of any such Rules,  it shall be decided by a majority vote.  If that is unobtainable, either an Arbitrator or a party may refer the question to the MICA for final decision.  All other Rules shall be interpreted and applied by the MICA.

 

ADMINISTRATIVE FEE SCHEDULE

 

The administrative fee of the MICA is based upon the time involved in the hearings relating to the claim and counterclaim

 

The administrative fee is $500 for matters in which actual hearings and deliberations do not exceed 12 hours, and $1,000 when hearings and deliberations exceed 12 hours.  The minimum fee is due at time of filing.  Such administrative fees shall be doubled if no MICA member is involved in the arbitration.  If there are more than two parties represented in the arbitration, an additional 10% of the initiating fee will be due for each additional represented party.

 

REFUND SCHEDULE

 

If MICA is notified that a case has been settle or withdrawn before a list of Arbitrators has been sent out, all the fee in excess of $150 will be refunded.

 

If the MICA is notified that a case has been settled or withdrawn thereafter but before the due date for the return of the first list, two-thirds of the fee in excess of $150 will be refunded.

 

If the MICA is notified that a case is settled or withdrawn thereafter but at least 48 hours before the date and time set for the first hearing, one-half of the fee in excess of $150 will be refunded.