Arbitrator Forms, Steps & Information

Gain valuable legal experience and increased visibility when you serve as an arbitrator in our CCCBA program.

Do You Qualify as an Arbitrator?

In order to qualify as an arbitrator, you must have practiced law for a minimum of three years and be in current good standing with the State Bar of California.

In addition, once every five years, you must attend a State Bar Fee Arbitrator training program or complete the online MCLE self-study program.

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Join Us—Submit Your Application

Fee Arbitrator & Mediator Volunteer Form: Fill out this easy one-page volunteer form and return it to CCCBA. Mail, fax or email the form this form to us.

Once we receive your form and determine if you qualify to be a CCCBA arbitrator, we will notify you with a “thank you” in email.

CCCBA will then place you on the list of available arbitrators. Thank you for contributing to this valuable community program!

Rules of Procedure for the Hearing of Fee Arbitration & Mediations

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Case Assignment

A notice of assignment is emailed to you for your consideration. The email includes the names of the parties involved so that you can make sure there is no conflict of interest.

A deadline to respond “yeah” or “nay” will be noted in the assignment.

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Getting Your Assignment Letter for a Case

Once you accept an assignment for a specific case, an “Assignment Letter,” along with the file, will be mailed to you. Instructions and the necessary forms to complete your duties will also be included.

If you find that for any reason you are unable to serve as an arbitrator for your assignment, please call the CCCBA immediately and return the file to our office.

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If You Accept the Case—Follow These Steps

  1. Fill out the “Arbitrator Statement of Disclosure” form that you received with your Assignment Letter.

    Return the form to the bar association within 5 business days of the date of the Assignment Letter. If you need another copy, download it here:
    Arbitrator Statement of Disclosure

  2. Plus, you must read the “CCCBA Advisory: Avoiding Arbitrator Bias” which you can download here:
    Avoiding Arbitrator Bias
  3. Upon receipt of the Arbitrator Statement of Disclosure form in step #1 above, all parties will be sent a “Notice of Appointment of Panel” by the CCCBA.
  4. When you receive the “Notice of Appointment of Panel,” you should contact the complainant and attorney and any other parties, and schedule the arbitration hearing.

    This hearing should be scheduled within 45 days from the date of service of the “Notice” for a single arbitrator, or within 90 days from the date of service of the “Notice” for a three-member panel.

    Request for Arbitration Hearing Dates: If you wish, you may use this form to contact all the parties involved first, and arrange a list of several dates and times that work with the schedules of all involved.

  5. Once a date has been confirmed, a “Notification of Hearing Date” form must be completed and served on each party within 10 days of your appointment, and at least 15 days prior to the hearing date.
    Notification of Hearing Date

    A copy of the “Notification” should also be sent to the Emily Day, CCCBA Fee Arbitration Coordinator.

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Standard Hearing Script & Checklist

Please download and read this checklist for a standard hearing format for arbitrators. The format may be varied at your discretion provided all parties are allowed a full and fair opportunity to present their respective cases.

Hearing Procedure Script/Checklist Outline

We would also prefer, if possible, that you hold the arbitration in one of the conference rooms at the CCCBA office in downtown Martinez. Call (925) 686-6900 to find out about available conference rooms.

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Award Rules, Forms & Information

Please download and read this check list. It also contains general rules and information about constructing the arbitration award.
Arbitration Award Checklist

Arbitration awards must be submitted to the Program within 15 days of the close of the hearing in any matter heard by a sole arbitrator, and within 25 days of the close of the hearing in any matter heard by a three-member panel.

Desk Arbitration awards shall be submitted to the Program within 15 days of the close of the submission deadline.

Required Award Format: The State Bar of California Minimum Standards governing these fee disputes requires certain specific language in the award. It is a fillable Word template. The instructions are as follows: State Bar of California Instructions for Sample Award Form v2 If you do not have Word, follow the templates in the instructions.

Stipulated Award Format: A fee arbitrator may accept a settlement between parties as a stipulated award. The Stipulated Award form should be used to identify the required elements of an award.

In no event should a fee arbitrator accept a settlement that appears to be unethical, illegal or unconscionable. A fee arbitrator should never participate in any settlement talks.

Send the original of the award and the signed binding agreement (if they had not previously agreed to binding) to us, and we will serve the award on the parties along with the “Notice of Your Rights After Fee Arbitration.”

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Desk Arbitration by Document Submission or Phone

By Document Submission

A Desk Arbitration is set up if a fee dispute involves $1,000.00 (one thousand dollars) or less.

The arbitrator makes an award based only on the documents. No hearing is held.

Notification of Desk Arbitration Submission Date: Please use this form to contact all parties and inform them of your decision to arbitrate by submission of documents.

Desk Arbitration Declaration: And please use this form to let all parties know that they will be submitting their documents and a complete written statement of the reasons for the dispute, under penalty of perjury.

The Desk Arbitration should be submitted by all parties back to you, the arbitrator, within 45 days from the date of service of the notice.

By Telephone

If the amount in controversy is less than $1,000.00 but greater than $500.00, the parties may appear at a hearing by telephone.

Any party can request arbitration by telephone, and all parties must provide written information about the case.

Notification of Desk Arbitration Submission Date with Telephone Hearing Option: When you receive the “Notice of Appointment of Panel,” please use this form to contact all the parties if you want to arbitrate by phone.

It requires the parties to contact you within 10 days to request a telephone hearing. It also requires them to submit to you any additional documents and a complete written statement of the reasons for the dispute by the submission date.

Desk Arbitration Declaration: Also enclose this form which requires them to submit their documents under penalty of perjury.

It confirms to the parties that a telephone hearing will be held. It reminds them that the party requesting the telephone hearing shall be responsible for all costs associated with the conference call and be responsible to initiate the conference call on the date and at the time of the hearing as confirmed by the arbitrator.

Confirmation of Desk Telephone Hearing Date: If a party requests a telephone hearing, then send this form.

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Contact Us & Mail Your Forms

If you have any questions after reviewing the material in this section, or to mail any forms:

Emily Day
CCCBA Fee Arbitration Coordinator
2300 Clayton Road, Suite 520
Concord, CA 94520

Phone: (925) 370-2541
Fax: (925) 686-9867
Email:

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