Judicial arbitration is a binding or non-binding process where an arbitrator applies the law to the facts of the case and issues an award.
The goal of judicial arbitration is to provide parties with resolution that is earlier, faster, less formal and less expensive than a trial. The arbitrator's award may either become the judgment in the case if all parties accept it or if no trial de novo (new trial) is requested within the required time. If the arbitration was non-binding, either party may reject the award and request a trial de novo before the assigned judge. If a trial de novo is requested, the trial will usually be scheduled within a year of the filing date of the complaint.
Parties may stipulate to binding or non-binding judicial arbitration or the judge may order the matter to arbitration at the case management conference if a case is valued at under $50,000 and is "at issue." The court maintains a panel of approved judicial arbitrators who have practiced law for a minimum of five years and who have a certain amount of trial and/or arbitration experience. Superior Court Local Rules Division 2 Chapter 3 and the California Code of Civil Procedure, sections 1141 et seq. address this program specifically.
Arbitrator Panel List
A binder containing the court's Arbitrator Panel List and Arbitrator Profiles with each arbitrator's ADR training and experience is available at the Arbitration Program Office or Civil Business Office at each court location.