Table of Contents

California Arbitration & Mediation Practice Guide:
Court-Connected ADR

Back to OverviewBy John A. Toker

(supplemented April 2019 by Dana Curtis)

Back to Overview

Judicial Arbitration

Court-Connected Mediation



  • Appendix A: Statutes
  • Appendix B: California Rules of Court
  • Appendix C: Local Rules and Practice
  • Appendix D: Transcript of an Arbitration Hearing
  • Appendix E: Arbitation Motion Practice
  • Appendix F: Arbitrators Guide        

Judicial Arbitration

Chapter 1:

§1.1 Advantages of Arbitration
§1.2 History of Judicial Arbitration

(a) Compulsory Arbitration in Pennsylvania
(b) CaliforniaÌs Voluntary Arbitration

§1.3 Courts Affected
§1.4 Sources of Law

(a) Judicial Arbitration Provisions
(b) Fast Track Provisions

§1.5 Other Forms of Arbitration Compared

(a) Distinctions
(b) Similarities

§1.6 Some Other Forms of Dispute Resolution
§1.7 Overview
§1.8 Client Considerations

(a) Generally
(b) Rand Studies
(c) Attorney-Client Relationship        

Chapter 2:
Commencement of Arbitration

§2.1 Methods of Commencing Arbitration
§2.2 Court-Ordered Arbitration
§2.3 Exemptions

(a) Rule 1600.5
(b) Other Exemptions

§2.4 Judicial Arbitration and Economic Litigation

(a) History
(b) Provisions

§2.5 Jurisdictional Amount

(a) Generally
(b) The Determination

§2.6 Voluntary Arbitration
§2.7 By Stipulation

(a) Advantages
(b) Form
(c) Effect of Fast Track

§2.8 By Election

(a) Procedure
(b) Effect of Fast Track

§2.9 Summary        

Chapter 3:
The Arbitrator

§3.1 Introduction
§3.2 Arbitrator Panels; Arbitration Administrative Committees
§3.3 Eligibility for Panel

(a) Categories of Arbitrators
(b) Enlisting and Retaining Qualified Arbitrators

§3.4 Qualifications
§3.5 Selection

(a) Procedure
(b) Obtaining Information about Potential Arbitrators
(c) Rejecting a Potential Arbitrator
(d) Some Considerations
(e) Alternative Methods of Selection (f) Timing

§3.6 Disqualification

(a) Self-Disqualification
(b) Disqualification by Parties

§3.7 Powers, Duties, and Fees

(a) Setting the Hearing
(b) Communications with Parties
(c) ArbitratorÌs Fee
(d) Powers of Arbitrator

§3.8 Continuances

(a) Procedure
(b) Problems Caused by Continuances

§3.9 ArbitratorÌs Motivation        

Chapter 4:
Prehearing Preparation

§4.1 Settlement

(a) Before Submission to Arbitration
(b) Before or at the Arbitration Hearing
(c) After the Arbitrator’s Award
(d) After a Request for Trial de Novo
(e) Summary

§4.2 Discovery

(a) Unlimited Jurisdiction Cases
(b) Limited Jurisdiction Cases
(c) All Cases

§4.3 Documentary Evidence
§4.4 Reports and Records

(a) Documents Admissible under Rule 1613(b)(1)
(b) Conditions for Admissibility
(c) Practical Applications
(d) Limited Jurisdiction Cases

§4.5 Affidavits and Declarations

(a) Generally
(b) Limited Jurisdiction Cases
(c) All Cases

§4.6 Depositions
§4.7 Time and Expense Saving
§4.8 Arbitration Brief
§4.9 Subpoenas        

Chapter 5:
The Hearing

§5.1 Organizing the Presentation
§5.2 Time and Place
§5.3 Failure to Appear or Present Evidence

(a) Genovia v Cassidy
(b) Lyons v Wickhorst
(c) Post-Lyons Decisions
(d) Sanctions
(e) Proving Bad Faith
(f) Risks of “Walking Through”

§5.4 Conference with Counsel
§5.5 Witnesses
§5.6 Opening Statements
§5.7 Evidence

(a) Generally
(b) Witnesses
(c) Documentary Evidence
(d) Other Considerations

§5.8 Closing Argument
§5.9 Legal Memoranda
§5.10 No Record        

Chapter 6:
The Award

§6.1 Form of Award

(a) Determination of All Issues
(b) Costs
(c) Attorneys’ Fees and Interest
(d) Other Considerations

§6.2 Filing of Award

(a) Timing
(b) Policy Favoring Finality
(c) Proof of Service
(d) Arbitrator Immunity
(e) Determining Date of Award

§6.3 Effect of Entry of Award
§6.4 Setting Aside or Vacating Award

(a) Generally
(b) Code of Civil Procedure §473
(c) Code of Civil Procedure §1286.2
(d) Code of Civil Procedure §1141.23
(e) Policy Favoring Finality        


Chapter 7:
Trial de Novo

§7.1 Right to Trial
§7.2 Few Trials de Novo

(a) Settlement
(b) Fair Awards
(c) Transfers after Arbitration Awards
(d) Economics
(e) Sanctions

§7.3 Sanctions

(a) Inclusions and Exceptions
(b) Civil Code §3291 and Code of Civil Procedure §998
(c) Do Sanctions Work?

§7.4 Appraising the Alternatives

(a) Three Hypotheticals
(b) Comparative Results: Arbitration versus Trial
(c) A Pyrrhic Victory and Costly Defeats

§7.5 Procedure to Obtain Trial de Novo

(a) Four Factors to Be Considered
(b) Judicial Interpretation
(c) No Reference to Arbitration at Trial

§7.6 Effect of Request for Trial de Novo
in Multiparty Case

(a) The Problem
(b) Trump v Superior Court: Interrelated Claims
(c) Demirgian v Superior Court: Independent Claims
(d) Trump Followed
(e) Considerations

§7.7 Discovery after Award

(a) Postaward Restrictions
(b) Some Guidelines        

Chapter 8:
The Dismissal Statutes

§8.1 Legal Background
§8.2 Method of Submission
§8.3 Beginning and End of the Tolling Period
§8.4 Bringing a Case to Trial after the Tolling Period

(a) Early Decisions
(b) Moran v Superior Court
(c) Plaintiff’s Duty versus Court’s Duty
(d) Continuing Duty of Diligent Prosecution

§8.5 Motion to Specially Set Case for Trial

(a) Background
(b) Salas v Sears, Roebuck & Co.
(c) Post-Salas Decisions

§8.6 Other Factors
§8.7 Protecting against Dismissal        

Court-Connected Mediation

Chapter 9:

§9.1 Definitions of Mediation
§9.2 Comparison with Some Other Forms
of Dispute Resolution

(a) Negotiation
(b) Litigation
(c) Settlement Conferences
(d) Arbitration
(e) Neutral Evaluation
(f) Trial

§9.3 Governing Law
§9.4 Advantages and Disadvantages of Mediation

(a) Advantages
(b) Disadvantages        

Chapter 10:
Commencement of Mediation

§10.1 Submission to Mediation

(a) Nature of Submission
(b) Intake Forms
(c) Assessment Conference

§10.2 Timing

(a) Case Management Conference
(b) Information Required        

Chapter 11:
The Mediator

§11.1 Types of Mediators
§11.2 Qualifications
§11.3 Choosing a Mediator
§11.4 Mediator Fees
§11.5 Standards of Mediator Conduct
§11.6 Mediator Immunity and Privilege
§11.7 Pre-Session Letter
§11.8 Pre-Mediation Conference        


Chapter 12:
Pre-Mediation Preparation

§12.1 Generally
§12.2 Preparation of the Client
§12.3 Preparation of the Mediation Brief
§12.4 Other Considerations        

Chapter 13:
The Mediation Session

§13.1 Participants

(a) Identity
(b) Roles

§13.2 Collaborative Approach
§13.3 Confidentiality

(a) Statutes
(b) Case Law

§13.4 The Mediation Process

(a) Generally
(b) The Mediator’s Introduction of the Process
(c) Understanding the Problem To Be Solved
(d) Solving the Problem
(e) Drafting an Agreement
(f) Statement of Agreement or Nonagreement

§13.5 Some Observations        

Chapter 14:
Appellate Mediation

§14.1 Background
§14.2 Obstacles
§14.3 Opportunities
§14.4 Settlement Factors

(a) Subject Matter
(b) Source of Judgment
(c) Some Other Factors

§14.5 Other Differences from Pretrial Mediation        


Chapter 15:

§15.1 Judicial Arbitration

(a) Earlier Resolution
(b) Cost Savings
(c) Judicial Time Savings
(d) Equitable Resolution

§15.2 Court-Connected Mediation