Ladera Ranch, CA asked in Contracts for California

Q: Arbitrator found: Seller & Realtor fraud ok, buyer beware. Opposite of CA law. Buyer pay everything, seller reimbursed

Seller & Realtor testified they hid stench, misled me, lied to me. Testing and Ca. State expert testified extremely high third hand smoke could change grandchild’s DNA, injure & kill someone. Unsafe and so I demolished everything down to metal studs & concrete.a Arbitrator said Everyone shows condo in best way. I am 100% responsible for everyone’s costs, expenses. Arbitration Co., said judge does not follow CA law. My attorney and I had no idea.

How do I proceed?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
  • Newport Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It would be good for you to post the name of this arbitrator so we all know not to use him. The rules with binding arbitration are pretty tough, it is very difficult to overturn the decision. You have an attorney already, you should be following their advice.

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Nathan Wirtschafter
Nathan Wirtschafter pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Woodlands Hill, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: There are only limited grounds to challenge an arbitrator’s award in California Superior Court. A party may file a petition to vacate or correct an arbitration award under Code of Civil Procedure section 1285. There are no other grounds to challenge the award. [Moncharsh v. Heily & Blase (1992) 3 Cal.4th 1, 12-13].

The merits of the award are generally not reviewable by the Court. For example, the Court will neither review the evidence nor the arbitrator’s legal reasoning. The court may not substitute its reasoning for the decision of the arbitrator.

Generally speaking, the arbitrator’s errors of law are not reviewable in state court, although, in federal court, the result may be different. The fact that an error of law causes “substantial injustice” is not grounds to vacate or correct the award. An award will usually be upheld even where the arbitrator incorrectly applied the law or considered inadmissible evidence.

Parties may agree to expanded judicial review of the arbitration award. For example, parties may agree to judicial review of the arbitration award for errors of law.

Your attorney can best give you advice on how to proceed in this situation.

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