1-567.54. Hearings and written proceedings.

(a) Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, the arbitral tribunal shall decide whether to hold oral hearings for the presentation of evidence or for oral argument, or whether the proceedings shall be conducted on the basis of documents and other materials. Unless the parties have agreed that no hearings shall be held, the arbitral tribunal shall hold such hearings at an appropriate stage of the proceedings, if so requested by a party.

(b) The parties shall be given sufficient advance notice of any hearing and of any meeting of the arbitral tribunal for the purposes of inspection of goods, other property, or documents.

(c) All statements, documents, or other information supplied to the arbitral tribunal by one party shall be served on the other party and any expert report or evidentiary document on which the arbitral tribunal may rely in making its decision shall be served on the parties. The arbitral tribunal shall direct the timing of such service to protect the parties from undue surprise.

(d) Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, all oral hearings and meetings in arbitral proceedings shall be held in camera. Confidential information disclosed during the proceedings by the parties or by witnesses shall not be divulged by the arbitrator or arbitrators. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, or required by applicable law, the arbitral tribunal and the parties shall keep confidential all matters relating to the arbitration and the award.

(e) The parties may agree on:

(1) The attendance of a court reporter,

(2) The creation of a transcript of proceedings, or

(3) The making of an audio or video record of proceedings, at the expense of the parties.

Any party may provide for any of the actions specified in subdivisions (1) through (3) of this subsection at that party's own expense.

(f) After asking the parties if they have any further testimony or evidentiary submissions and upon receiving negative replies or being satisfied that the record is complete, the arbitral tribunal may declare the hearings closed. The arbitral tribunal may reopen the hearings, upon terms it considers just, at any time before the award is made. (1991, c. 292.)