3 Arbitrators


Unless otherwise ordered or stipulated, an arbitrator must be a member of the Washington State Bar Association who has been admitted to the Bar for a minimum of 5 years, or who is a retired judge. The parties may stipulate to a nonlawyer arbitrator. To qualify as an arbitrator, a person must sign and file an oath of office, either to serve in a particular case, or as a member of a panel of arbitrators. The court is authorized to remove an individual from a list of qualified arbitrators for good cause.

[Effective July 1, 1980. Amended effective September 1, 2008.]


(a) Authority of Arbitrator.

An arbitrator has the authority to:

(1) Decide procedural issues arising before or during the arbitration hearing, except issues relating to the qualifications of an arbitrator;

(2) Invite, with reasonable notice, the parties to submit trial briefs;

(3) Examine any site or object relevant to the case;

(4) Issue a subpoena under rule 4.3;

(5) Administer oaths or affirmations to witnesses;

(6) Rule on the admissibility of evidence under rule 5.3;

(7) Determine the facts, decide the law, and make an award;

(8) Award costs and attorney fees as authorized by law; and

(9) Perform other acts as authorized by these rules or local rules adopted and filed under rule 8.2.

(b) Authority of the Court.

The court shall decide:

(1) Motions for involuntary dismissal, motions to change or add parties to the case, and motions for summary judgment, and

(2) Issues relating to costs and attorney fees if those issues cannot otherwise be decided by the arbitrator.

[Amended effective September 1, 1989; September 1, 1994; September 1, 2011.]