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California Courts Let You Have it Your Way: Arbitrate and Appeal the Award

When I ask litigators why they don’t choose arbitration over litigation before unpredictable judges in a crowded court, their answer invariably is “because I can’t appeal the ruling.”   We cling to appellate review even though we appeal fewer cases than we try — which is a very small percentage of our case load as it is.

Not surprising, however, we litigators, as Max Kennerly recently noted, tend to be risk-averse, not risk-embracing (h/t Blawg Review # 174).  To give up that one last chance for our client to be vindicated and for us to be triumphant is generally just too much for us.

Now we can have our arbitration cake and and follow it up with appellate ice cream.  Yesterday, the California Supreme Court in Cable Connection, Inc. v. DirecTV  held that arbitrating parties’ agreement to seek appellate review of legal errors is enforceable in California State Courts despite its uneforceability in federal court.  As the Supreme Court explained:

                        author

Victoria Pynchon

Attorney-mediator Victoria Pynchon is a panelist with ADR Services, Inc. Ms. Pynchon was awarded her LL.M Degree in Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute in May of 2006, after 25 years of complex commercial litigation practice, with sub-specialties in intellectual property, securities fraud, antitrust, insurance coverage, consumer class actions and all… MORE >

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