(a) An arbitrator may conduct an arbitration in the manner the arbitrator considers appropriate for a fair and expeditious disposition of the proceeding. The authority conferred upon the arbitrator includes the power to hold conferences with the parties to the arbitration proceeding before the hearing and, among other matters, determine the admissibility, relevance, materiality, and weight of any evidence.
(b) An arbitrator may decide a request for summary disposition of a claim or particular issue:
(1) If all interested parties agree; or
(2) Upon request of one party to the arbitration proceeding if that party gives notice to all other parties to the proceeding and the other parties have a reasonable opportunity to respond.
(c) If an arbitrator orders a hearing, the arbitrator shall set a time and place and give notice of the hearing not less than five days before the hearing begins. Unless a party to the arbitration proceeding objects to the lack or insufficiency of notice not later than the beginning of the hearing, the party's appearance at the hearing waives the objection. Upon request of a party to the arbitration proceeding and for good cause shown, or upon the arbitrator's own initiative, the arbitrator may adjourn the hearing from time to time as necessary but shall not postpone the hearing to a time later than that fixed by the agreement to arbitrate for making the award unless the parties to the arbitration proceeding consent to a later date. The arbitrator may hear and decide the controversy upon the evidence produced although a party who was duly notified did not appear. The court, upon request, may direct the arbitrator to conduct the hearing promptly and render a timely decision.
(d) At a hearing under subsection (c) of this section, a party to the arbitration proceeding may be heard, present evidence material to the controversy, and cross-examine witnesses appearing at the hearing.
(e) If an arbitrator ceases to or is unable to act during the arbitration proceeding, a replacement arbitrator shall be appointed in accordance with G.S. 1-569.11 to continue the proceeding and to resolve the controversy.
(f) The rules of evidence shall not apply in arbitration proceedings, except as to matters of privilege or immunities. (1927, c. 94, ss. 6, 7; 1973, c. 676, s. 1; 2003-345, s. 2.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014