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Petition to vacate an arbitration award in California

A petition to vacate an arbitration award in California is the topic of this blog post. Code of Civil Procedure section 1286.2 is the statute that lists the grounds on which a California arbitration award may be vacated. It should be noted that any petition to vacate an arbitration award must be filed within 100 days after the date a signed copy of the award is served on the petitioner pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 1288.

Vacating an arbitration award in California can be difficult unless the petitioner can make a sufficient showing that one of the grounds listed in Code of Civil Procedure section 1286.2. However it can be very useful if used in appropriate situations.

Code of Civil Procedure §1286.2 states in pertinent part that,

“(a) Subject to Section 1286.4, the court shall vacate the award if the court determines any of the following:

(1) The award was procured by corruption, fraud or other undue means.

(2) There was corruption in any of the arbitrators.

(3) The rights of the party were substantially prejudiced by misconduct of a neutral arbitrator.

(4) The arbitrators exceeded their powers and the award cannot be corrected without affecting the merits of the decision upon the controversy submitted.

(5) The rights of the party were substantially prejudiced by the refusal of the arbitrators to postpone the hearing upon sufficient cause being shown therefor or by the refusal of the arbitrators to hear evidence material to the controversy or by other conduct of the arbitrators contrary to the provisions of this title.

(6) An arbitrator making the award either: (A) failed to disclose within the time required for disclosure a ground for disqualification of which the arbitrator was then aware; or (B) was subject to disqualification upon grounds specified in Section 1281.91 but failed upon receipt of timely demand to disqualify himself or herself as required by that provision.”

Several decisions of the California Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal have discussed when a arbitration award may be vacated.

It is established that the scope of judicial review of arbitration awards is extremely narrow in both the trial and appellate courts. See Moncharsh v. Heily & Blase (1992) 3 Cal.4th 1, 11, 33.

However in a more recent case the California Supreme Court stated that the Legislature has provided for judicial review of arbitration awards in situations where there are serious problems affecting the fairness of arbitration process.

Another California Supreme Court case stated that the requirement of having a neutral arbitrator is essential in order to ensure the integrity of the arbitration process.

A fairly recent California Court of Appeal case stated that the arbitrator must give all of the parties to the dispute an adequate opportunity to present their evidence and arguments.

Other recent California Court of Appeal cases have stated that if an arbitrator fails to decide an issue submitted to them that this may constitute grounds for vacating the award; that courts may vacate an award where it violates a well-defined public policy.

However the party petitioning to vacate the award has the burden of making a sufficient showing of fraud as another California Court of appeal case stated that the petitioner must show that they did not have the opportunity to rebut or discover and then reveal the alleged fraud at the arbitration hearing.

In certain cases the court may order a rehearing before new arbitrators as Code of Civil Procedure § 1287 states in pertinent part that, “If the award is vacated, the court may order a rehearing before new arbitrators.”

As mentioned earlier a petition to vacate an arbitration award should be considered but only if the party can show sufficient facts and evidence to support one of the valid grounds and files a timely petition to vacate the award.

Attorneys or parties in California that would like to view a portion of a sample 14 page petition to vacate arbitration award containing brief instructions, a memorandum of points and authorities with citations to case law and statutory authority and sample declaration sold by the author can see below.

The author of this blog post, Stan Burman, is an entrepreneur and freelance paralegal who has worked in California and Federal litigation since 1995 and has created over 300 sample legal documents for California and Federal litigation.

*Do you want to use this article on your website, blog or e-zine? You can, as long as you include this blurb with it: “Stan Burman is the author of over 300 sample legal documents for California and Federal litigation and is the author of a free weekly legal newsletter. You can receive 10 free gifts just for subscribing. Just visit Subscribe to FREE weekly legal newsletter for more information.

Follow the author on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/LegalDocsPro

You can view sample legal document packages for sale by visiting http://www.legaldocspro.com/products_main.aspx

DISCLAIMER:

Please note that the author of this blog post, Stan Burman is NOT an attorney and as such is unable to provide any specific legal advice. The author is NOT engaged in providing any legal, financial, or other professional services, and any information contained in this blog post is NOT intended to constitute legal advice.

The materials and information contained in this blog post have been prepared by Stan Burman for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Transmission of the information contained in this blog post is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, any business relationship between the author and any readers. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.

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