In judicial arbitration, an independent attorney serving as an arbitrator reads documents, hears arguments, listens to witnesses under oath, looks at the evidence, and makes a decision about the case. If either party disagrees with the arbitration award, they may file a request for a new court hearing to review the case.
- Choosing an arbitrator: Parties must get a current list of arbitrators from the ADR Program office. Go here to see information about panel members, or go to the ADR Program office in Martinez. To choose an arbitrator, one party (such as the plaintiff) may circle acceptable panel members, and indicate panel members they do not prefer, before sending that list to the other party.
- Awards: The arbitrator must file the arbitration award (decision) with the court within 10 days of the last hearing. If either party disagrees with the arbitration award, they may ask the court to review the case by filing a request for a new court hearing (called a trial de novo.) The arbitration award becomes a court order unless the parties ask the court to review the case by filing for a trial de novo within 60 days (or another time limit set by the judge.)
- Attendance: As long as all trial attorneys, parties, and other people needed to present the case and answer the arbitrator’s questions are included, the parties may choose who will attend arbitration.
- Fees: Judicial arbitrators are allowed to charge $150 per case or per day for their services. The arbitrator collects this fee from the parties.