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What you should know about the CSLB’s mandatory arbitration program – II

In a previous post, we explained how licensed contractors in California must be aware that homeowners, subcontractors, employees or fellow contractors may choose to address grievances with the Contractors State License Board.

We also explained how some of these complaints filed with the CSLB might have to be resolved via arbitration, a process in which an arbitrator — a specially trained and neutral third party — hears arguments by both sides and issues a final binding decision. We’ll continue this discussion in today’s post, exploring more about the process leading up to the arbitration hearing.

In the event the CSLB determines that a complaint qualifies for arbitration, it will send a form — Submission to Mandatory Arbitration — to both sides. In addition to requesting such information as names and addresses, it will ask for information pertaining to claims and remedies sought.

Once the CSLB receives the signed submissions, it will send out copies, including the submission provided by the other side. This is done so that each side will be aware of the underlying issues and requested resolutions. Copies will also be sent to the selected arbitration provider (i.e., the agency providing trained arbitrators to handle construction disputes).

It’s important to note that failure to respond to the submission within 30 calendar days of its mailing date could have the following repercussions:

  • The complainant — or plaintiff — will see their complaint closed and the CSLB declining to take any further action
  • The respondent — or defendant — will see the arbitration move forward despite their non-reply with any award ultimately granted by the arbitrator fully enforceable  

As for the time, date and location of the arbitration, this will be set by the CSLB’s chosen arbitration provider and communicated to both sides in writing.

We’ll continue this examination in future posts, exploring more about the hearing itself and what the law has to say concerning any arbitration award.

Consider speaking with experienced legal professional if you are a builder looking for answers about mandatory arbitration or counsel seeking assistance with preparation for an arbitration hearing.