Arbitrator Forms, Steps & Information
Gain valuable legal experience and increased visibility when you serve as an arbitrator in our CCCBA program.
- Do You Qualify?
- Join Us—Submit Your Application
- Case Assignment
- Getting Your Assignment Letter
- If You Accept the Case—Follow These Steps
- Standard Hearing Script & Checklist
- Award Rules, Forms & Information
- Desk Arbitration by Document Submission or by Phone
- Contact Us & Mail Your Forms
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.
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!
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.
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.
If You Accept the Case—Follow These Steps
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
Plus, you must read the “CCCBA Arbitrator Disclosure Guidelines” which you can download here:
CCCBA Arbitrator Disclosure Guidelines
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.
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.
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.
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.
We would also prefer, if possible, that you hold the arbitration in the CCCBA office conference room. Call (925) 686-6900 to check availability.
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.
The State Bar of California Minimum Standards governing these fee disputes requires certain specific language in the award. For a copy of the "Required Award Format" contact the CCCBA Fee Arbitration Coordinator. You will be emailed a fillable Word template. The instructions are as follows: State Bar of California Instructions for Sample Award Form v3 Mar_2014 If you do not have Word, follow the templates in the instructions.
Stipulated Awards: 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. Refer to Arbitration Advisory 2015-02 The Arbitrator's Role in Settlements and Stipulated Awards for more information and the necessary State Bar approved forms.
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.”
Desk Arbitration 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.