How Do I Subpoena a Witness to an Arbitration Hearing?
The single arbitrator has the authority to issue subpoenas, direct appearances of witnesses and production of documents, set deadlines for compliance, and issue other rulings that would expedite the arbitration proceedings or enable a party to prepare its case.
To the extent possible, testimony and documentary evidence should be exchanged voluntarily by the parties without the use of subpoenas. If a subpoena is necessary, the arbitrators and any counsel of record have such power of subpoena as may be provided by the law of the state where the hearing will be held or by the Federal Arbitration Act. All parties must be given a copy of the subpoena on its issuance. If a party has an attorney, the attorney should answer all questions concerning subpoenas. Parties without attorneys may request that the Director ask the arbitrators to issue a subpoena. If possible the request should be in writing, should set forth why the subpoena is necessary and what efforts the requesting party made to obtain the appearance of witnesses and the production of documents without the use of the subpoena, and should include a copy of the subpoena which the arbitrators are requested to issue. If the arbitrators issue a subpoena, the requesting party has the obligation of serving the subpoena on the opposing party and bearing the costs involved as provided by law of the state where the hearing will be held or by federal law. The requesting party may need to employ the services of a professional process server to serve the subpoena.
The procedures for the issuance and service of subpoenas vary. Parties may, therefore, wish to consult with an attorney to ensure that legal requirements in the applicable jurisdiction are satisfied.
In addition to the subpoena process, in some instances the arbitrators have the power to direct the appearance of persons employed in the securities industry and the production of records in the possession or control of such persons. If the parties request the arbitrators to use this power, they may be required to bear all reasonable expenses in connection with such appearance or production. All such requests should be made in advance of the hearing.