90-21.63. Witnesses; discovery; depositions; subpoenas.

(a) General Conduct of Arbitration; Experts. - The arbitrator may conduct the arbitration in such manner as the arbitrator considers appropriate so as to aid in the fair and expeditious disposition of the proceeding subject to the requirements of this section and G.S. 90-21.64. Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, each side shall be entitled to two experts on the issue of liability, two experts on the issue of damages, and one rebuttal expert.

(b) Experts in Case of Multiple Parties. - Where there are multiple parties on one side, the arbitrator shall determine the number of experts that are allowed based on the minimum number of experts necessary to ensure a fair and economic resolution of the action.

(c) Discovery. - Notwithstanding G.S. 90-21.64(a)(1), unless the arbitrator determines that exceptional circumstances require additional discovery, each party shall be entitled to all of the following discovery from any other party:

(1) Twenty-five interrogatories, including subparts.

(2) Ten requests for admission.

(3) Whatever is allowed under applicable court rules for:

a. Requests for production of documents and things and for entry upon land for inspection and other purposes; and

b. Requests for physical and mental examinations of persons.

(d) Depositions. - Each party shall be entitled to all of the following depositions:

(1) Depositions of any party and any expert that a party expects to call as a witness. - Except by order of the arbitrator for good cause shown, the length of the deposition of a party or an expert witness under this subdivision shall be limited to four hours.

(2) Depositions of other witnesses. - Unless the arbitrator determines that exceptional circumstances require additional depositions, the total number of depositions of persons under this subdivision shall be limited to five depositions per side, each of which shall last no longer than two hours and for which each side shall be entitled to examine for one hour.

(e) Subpoenas. - An arbitrator may issue a subpoena for the attendance of a witness and for the production of records and other evidence at any hearing and may administer oaths. A subpoena shall be served in the manner for service of subpoenas in a civil action and, upon the motion to the court by a party to the arbitration proceeding or by the arbitrator, enforced in the manner for enforcement of subpoenas in a civil action. (2007-541, s. 1.)