Article 7.1. Resolution Of Contract Claims of California Public Contract Code >> Division 2. >> Part 2. >> Chapter 1. >> Article 7.1.

The remedy for the resolution of claims arising under contracts made under the provisions of this chapter shall be arbitration pursuant to this chapter.
The claimant may initiate arbitration not later than 90 days after the date of service in person or by mail on the claimant of the final written decision by the department on the claim. This limitation shall not apply to any claim founded on any cost audit, latent defect, warranty, or guarantee under the contract.
A failure by the claimant to pursue diligently and exhaust, as to the claim, the required administrative procedures set forth in the contract under which the claim arose shall be a bar to arbitration hereunder until there has been compliance therewith. Subject to the preceding sentence, if more than 240 days have elapsed since acceptance of the work by the department, the claimant is entitled to arbitration, even though the procedures are not concluded.
Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, the arbitration shall be conducted by a single arbitrator selected by the parties from the certified list created by the Public Works Contract Arbitration Committee. If the parties cannot agree on the arbitrator, either party may petition the superior court to appoint one from the panel of arbitrators certified by the Public Works Contract Arbitration Committee.
No decision made by a department shall be conclusive on any issue in the arbitration.
(a) The Departments of General Services, Transportation, and Water Resources shall jointly adopt and may, from time to time, modify, revise, or repeal uniform regulations to implement this article, which regulations shall be consistent with this article and Article 7.2 (commencing with Section 10245). The regulations may include, but need not be limited to:
  (1) The method of initiating arbitration.
  (2) The place of hearing based upon the convenience of the parties.
  (3) Procedures for the selection of a neutral arbitrator.
  (4) The form and content of any pleading.
  (5) Procedure for conducting hearings.
  (6) The providing of experts to assist the arbitrator in the event the assistance is needed.
  (7) The content of the award.
  (8) Simplified procedures for claims of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) or less.
  (b) Pending adoption of the initial uniform regulations under this section, the arbitration rules set forth in Subchapter 3 (commencing with Section 301) of Chapter 2 of Title 1 of the California Code of Regulations, shall govern the conduct of arbitrations under this chapter.
As used in this article, "claim" means a demand for monetary compensation or damages, arising under or relating to the performance of a contract awarded under this chapter.
As used in this article, "Public Works Contract Arbitration Committee" means the committee created by Article 7.2 (commencing with Section 10245).
Unless the parties to the contract otherwise agree, the arbitration decision shall be decided under and in accordance with the law of this state, supported by substantial evidence and, in writing, contain the basis for the decision, findings of fact, and conclusions of law.
A party to the contract may join in the arbitration as a party, any supplier, subcontractor, design professional, surety, or other person who has so agreed and if the joinder is necessary to prevent a substantial risk of the party otherwise being subjected to inconsistent obligations or decisions.
Nothing in this article shall be construed as preventing the parties to the contract, after the claim has arisen, from mutually agreeing in writing to waive the provisions of this article and to have the claim litigated in a court of competent jurisdiction.
Except as provided in this article and in the regulations adopted pursuant to Section 10240.5, the procedure governing the arbitrations shall be as set forth in Title 9 (commencing with Section 1280) of Part 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure. All provisions of Section 1283.05 of the Code of Civil Procedure, except subdivision (e) thereof, apply to the conduct of discovery for any arbitration hereunder.
A party may, within the applicable time periods and upon the grounds specified in this section and in Article 1 (commencing with Section 1285) of Chapter 4 of Title 9 of Part 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure, petition the court to confirm, correct, or vacate the award rendered by the arbitrator. However, no department may petition to vacate an award without the prior written authorization of its agency secretary. Except where the parties agree not to have the arbitration decision rendered in accordance with the provisions of Section 10240.8, a court shall vacate the award, or part thereof, if it determines either that the award, or part thereof, is not supported by substantial evidence or that it is not decided under or in accordance with the laws of this state. If the award, or part thereof, is vacated on the grounds set forth in the preceding sentence or in subdivision (d) or (e) of Section 1286.2 of the Code of Civil Procedure or if the court determines that the award does not include a determination of all submitted questions necessary to determine the controversy, the court may order a rehearing before the original arbitrator or remand to the original arbitrator that portion of the dispute which the court concludes the arbitrator failed to determine.
The cost of conducting the arbitration shall be borne equally by the parties. The filing fee, witness fees, costs of discovery, or any other cost necessarily incurred by one party shall not be shared by any other party, except that the arbitrator may allow the prevailing party to recover its costs and necessary disbursements, other than attorney's fees, on the same basis as is allowed in civil actions. These costs shall be taxed as in civil actions. Interest may be recovered as part of the award as in a civil action. The arbitrator has the same authority as a court in awarding interest and the commencement of the arbitration is equivalent to the filing of an action under subdivision (b) of Section 3287 of the Civil Code for the purpose of an award of interest. If a party has made an offer of settlement and the award is less favorable than the offer, then the party who has received the offer shall not recover any interest accruing from and after the date on which the offer was made, nor costs of suit. Reasonable attorney fees may be recovered according to any of the following:
  (a) By a party who has made an offer under the circumstances set forth in the preceding sentence but only as to those fees incurred from and after the time of making the offer.
  (b) Against a party when substantial evidence establishes that the party has acted frivolously or in bad faith in its demand for, or participation in, the arbitration.