Who Must Attend The Arbitration Hearing
Local rules require counsel, or party if not represented by counsel, to attend
the arbitration session. Failure to appear is subject to monetary sanctions
(LASC Rule 12.10).
The arbitration may proceed, and an award issued, in the absence of any party
who, after due notice, fails to be present or to obtain a continuance [CRC
Role Of The Arbitrator
Arbitrators listen to the evidence presented by each side and render a decision
in writing called an award. The arbitrator shall disclose to parties any
conflict of interest or potential conflict that might affect his or her
impartiality on the case.
How To Prepare For The Arbitration
Although less formal than a trial, counsel and clients should be fully prepared
to argue their position on the case and to present documentary evidence and
witnesses. Before the arbitration: organize your arguments; identify and
organize documentary evidence and testimony that support your arguments; and
make sure you have complied with CRC 1613.
Persuasive and forceful presentation is encouraged but civility and mutual
respect are vital.
Submission Of Briefs
Briefs are expected and necessary. The brief should include identification of
the parties, a concise description of the facts, and applicable case law and
statutes. The briefs should be submitted to the arbitrator at least 2 days
prior to the arbitration hearing.
What To Expect At The Arbitration Hearing
The rules of evidence apply in arbitration, but with exceptions (See CRC 1613).
The arbitrator will explain the process. Each side may present an uninterrupted
opening statement setting forth its position as to the facts and law.
After opening statements, the parties present their evidence and witnesses. The
arbitrator swears in the witnesses and makes rulings on the admissibility of
evidence. After all evidence is presented and all witnesses have been heard,
the parties make closing arguments.
Discovery After Assignment of Arbitrator
All discovery must be completed not later than 15 days prior to the date set
for the arbitration hearing (CRC 1612).
Award of Arbitrator
Within 10 days after the conclusion of the arbitration hearing, the arbitrator
submits an award and files it with the ADR Office with copies to all parties.
The court may allow up to an additional 20 days to submit an award in
complicated cases [CRC 1615(b)].
The award must be in writing, signed by the Arbitrator and filed with the ADR
Judgement/Trial De Novo
An arbitrator's award is final and entered as the judgment unless a Request for
Trial (Trial de Novo) is filed within 30 days from the date the arbitrator
files the award with the ADR Office (CRC 1616). The 30 day period may not be
extended (CRC 1616).