Part 3.5. Arbitration of California Labor Code >> Division 4. >> Part 3.5.
This part shall not apply in cases where an injured employee
or dependent is involved unless the employee or dependent is
represented by an attorney.
(a) The presiding workers' compensation judge at each
district office shall prepare a list of all eligible attorneys who
apply to be placed on the list of eligible arbitrators. Attorneys are
eligible to become arbitrators if they are active members of the
California State Bar Association and are one of the following:
(1) A certified specialist in workers' compensation, or eligible
to become certified.
(2) A retired workers' compensation judge.
(3) A retired appeals board member.
(4) An attorney who has been certified to serve as a judge pro
(b) No attorney shall be included in a panel of arbitrators, if he
or she has served as a judge in any proceeding involving the same
case, or has represented, or whose firm has represented, any party in
the same case.
(a) The parties to a dispute submitted for arbitration may
select any eligible attorney from the list prepared by the presiding
workers' compensation judge to serve as arbitrator. However, when the
disputed issue involves insurance coverage, the parties may select
any attorney as arbitrator upon agreement of the parties.
(b) If the parties cannot select an arbitrator by agreement,
either party may request the presiding workers' compensation judge to
assign a panel of five arbitrators selected at random from the list
of eligible attorneys. No more than three arbitrators on a
five-member panel may be defense attorneys, no more than three may be
applicant's attorneys, and no more than two may be retired workers'
compensation judges or appeals board commissioners.
(c) For each party in excess of one party in the capacity of
employer and one party in the capacity of injured employee or lien
claimant, the presiding judge shall randomly select two additional
arbitrators to add to the panel. For each additional party in the
capacity of employer, the presiding judge shall assign a retired
workers' compensation judge or retired appeals board commissioner and
an applicant's attorney. For each additional party in the capacity
of injured employee or lien claimant, the presiding judge shall
assign a retired workers' compensation judge or retired appeals board
commissioner and a defense attorney. For each additional other
party, the presiding judge shall assign two arbitrators to the panel,
in order of rotation from case to case, as follows: a retired
workers' compensation judge or retired appeals board commissioner, an
applicant's attorney, a defense attorney.
(d) A party may petition the presiding workers' compensation judge
to remove a member from the panel pursuant to Section 170.1 of the
Code of Civil Procedure. The presiding workers' compensation judge
shall assign another eligible attorney to replace any member removed
under this subdivision.
(e) Each party or lien claimant shall strike two members from the
panel, and the remaining attorney shall serve as arbitrator.
Arbitrators shall have all of the statutory and regulatory
duties and responsibilities of a workers' compensation judge, as set
forth in Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 5300) of Part 4, except
for the following:
(a) Arbitrators shall have no power to order the injured worker to
be examined by a qualified medical evaluator pursuant to Sections
5701 and 5703.5.
(b) Arbitrators shall not have power of contempt.
(a) In disputes between an employee and an employer, the
employer shall pay all costs related to the arbitration proceeding,
including use of facilities, hearing reporter per diems and
(b) In all other disputes, the costs of the arbitration
proceedings, including the arbitrator's compensation, shall be paid
(1) By the parties equally in any dispute between an employer and
an insurer, or an employer and a lien claimant.
(2) By the parties equally in proceedings subject to Section
(3) By the dependents in accordance with their proportionate share
of death benefits, where there is no dispute as to the injury
(c) Disputes regarding the costs or fees for arbitration shall be
within the exclusive jurisdiction of the appeals board, and shall be
determined initially by the presiding judge of the district office.
(a) Disputes involving the following issues shall be
submitted for arbitration:
(1) Insurance coverage.
(2) Right of contribution in accordance with Section 5500.5.
(b) By agreement of the parties, any issue arising under Division
1 (commencing with Section 50) or Division 4 (commencing with Section
3200) may be submitted for arbitration, regardless of the date of
(a) Arbitration proceedings may commence at any place and
time agreed upon by all parties.
(b) If the parties cannot agree on a time or place to commence
arbitration proceedings, the arbitrator shall order the date, time
and place for commencement of the proceeding. Unless all parties
agree otherwise, arbitration proceedings shall commence not less than
30 days nor more than 60 days from the date an arbitrator is
(c) Ten days before the arbitration, each party shall submit to
the arbitrator and serve on the opposing party reports, records and
other documentary evidence on which that party intends to rely. If a
party intends to rely upon excerpts of records or depositions, only
copies of the excerpts shall be submitted to the arbitrator.
(a) The arbitrator's findings and award shall be served on
all parties within 30 days of submission of the case for decision.
(b) The arbitrator's award shall comply with Section 5313 and
shall be filed with the appeals board office pursuant to venue rules
published by the appeals board.
(c) The findings of fact, award, order, or decision of the
arbitrator shall have the same force and effect as an award, order,
or decision of a workers' compensation judge.
(d) Use of an arbitrator for any part of a proceeding or any issue
shall not bind the parties to the use of the same arbitrator for any
subsequent issues or proceedings.
(e) Unless all parties agree to a longer period of time, the
failure of the arbitrator to submit the decision within 30 days shall
result in forfeiture of the arbitrator's fee and shall vacate the
submission order and all stipulations.
(f) The presiding workers' compensation judge may submit
supplemental proceedings to arbitration pursuant to this part.
(a) No disclosure of any offers of settlement made by any
party shall be made to the arbitrator prior to the filing of the
(b) Article 7 (commencing with Section 11430.10) of Chapter 4.5 of
Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code applies to a
communication to the arbitrator or a potential arbitrator.