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California Code of Civil Procedure §§ 1280 et seq. and 1141.10 et seq. establish procedures for implementation of arbitration clauses in contracts and for use of “judicial arbitration.” If a case meets the requirements in those sections, the court will assign the matter for binding or non-binding arbitration. Charles M. Riffle is a member of the panel of arbitrators in San Mateo County to whom such cases are routinely assigned. After hearing evidence in the informal setting of his conference room, he will render a written decision. If the arbitration is non-binding, the litigants can decide whether they wish to accept the decision, or set the matter for trial.

There is also a procedure in the family code for arbitration of disputes between divorcing parties regarding the division of their personal property. Because of his many years of family law experience, Mr. Riffle is often chosen as an arbitrator of such disputes. Family law arbitration, unlike judicial arbitration, is binding on the parties.

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