California Bar Journal
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IMPORTANT NOTICE: This article is provided solely for research and archival purposes. MCLE self-study credit is no longer available. Even if you follow the instructions and submit payment you will not be granted MCLE self-study credit. Please note that low-cost MCLE is provided by the California Lawyers Association, pursuant to Business and Professions Code section 6056.


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Self-Assessment Test
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Answer the following questions after reading the MCLE article on arbitration. Use the answer form provided to send the test, along with a $20 processing fee, to the State Bar. Please allow at least eight weeks for MCLE certificates to reach you in the mail.

1. An appellate court will reverse a contractual arbitration award if, from the face of the award, it is clear the arbitrator committed an error of law.

2. The California Code of Civil Procedure gives litigants the right to stipulate to the appointment of a temporary judge.

3. Parties dissatisfied with the results of a judicial arbitration are entitled to a trial de novo.

4. If the parties to an agreement clearly intend to combine procedures from different types of alternative dispute resolutions, courts will enforce the intent of the parties and allow “hybrid” proceedings.

5. An arbitration agreement can confer jurisdiction on an appellate court by stipulation.

6. In a general reference, the referee’s statement of decision is the decision of the court and the trial court may grant a motion for a new trial and vacate the award of the referee to the same extent as if the judge had heard the matter.

7. Under the Moncharsh decision, an appellate court may reverse an arbitration award on the ground that an error caused “substantial injustice.”

8. In a contractual arbitration, the arbitrator must follow the law, but she does not have to abide by the rules of evidence.

9. A judgment following a general reference is appealable, whereas a judgment following a special reference is not.

10. A trial court may accept, reject, or modify the recommendation of a referee in a special reference.

11. A well-drafted arbitration agreement can preserve full appellate review.

12. A sitting judge may not decide a case as an arbitrator.

13. If an agreement is ambiguous as to the form of the alternative dispute resolution chosen, the court must declare the agreement void.

14. Temporary judges act under the same rules as constitutional trial judges.

15. Only retired judges can serve as temporary judges.

16. The decision of a temporary judge is subject to the same level of appellate review as a trial judge.

17. Lawyers shouldn’t concern themselves with advising their clients about the different forms of alternative dispute resolution because such a decision usually won’t affect the outcome of a case.

18. If a client’s priority is to minimize appellate review of an initial decision, the client is generally better off selecting contractual arbitration as opposed to the other forms of alternative dispute resolution.

19. An agreement for a reference or a judgment rendered by a temporary judge preserves full appellate review.

20. A stipulation providing for judicial arbitration may limit the trial court’s review of the award to that permitted in contractual arbitration and at the same time preserve full appellate review of the award.


This activity has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of California in the amount of 1 hour.

The State Bar of California certifies that this activity conforms to the standards for approved education activities prescribed by the rules and regulations of the State Bar of California governing minimum continuing legal education.