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Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie, Inc.

What is a California judicial arbitration?

An offer of compromise in California, pursuant to California statute, code of civil procedure, section 998 provides that if a party makes an offer, in writing, and it is not accepted, that party may claim costs and expert fees later on if they prevail at trial.
 
Judicial arbitration is a process whereby the superior court in the state of California has determined that your case should go to arbitration before trial.  Arbitration, ordered by a court, is non-binding, meaning that either party can request a trial if they're unhappy with the award.
 
Studies have found that arbitrations are quite successful in resolving cases.  The parties have a little mini trial, where documents are introduced with statements and testimony, but it is an abbreviated presentation.  Arbitrations are usually conducted before one member of a panel of volunteer attorneys or judges that hear the arbitration.  However, the parties can also stipulate to a professional judge or a retired judge that they pay on an hourly basis to hear the arbitration.
 
Arbitrators will typically render a written opinion.  The written opinion will contain information about the viewpoint of that particular arbitrator on the case.  Because that person is a knowledgeable person in the area of personal injury and auto accidents, slip and falls, trip and falls and/or truck accidents, their opinion carries some weight when considering whether your case is as strong as you thought it was when you submitted it to arbitration.  Additionally, parties may introduce evidence that they think will be effective at trial.  By introducing this evidence, they get a chance to see if the evidence is influential or is effective as they had hoped it would be.  
 
No plaintiff should shun arbitration.  It is an opportunity for you to present your case and to see if the case can be resolved.  A good performance at arbitration by a qualified California personal injury and accident attorney can in fact get a very good award.  If the defendant requests a trial after the arbitration, the defendant has to actually beat the arbitration award or pay your costs and expenses. 
 
If you need a Los Angeles personal injury attorney or a qualified accident attorney to handle your case, through arbitration or otherwise, please call us at 866-981-5596.

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