| by Heather Duncan, Esq.
California Governor Jerry Brown has signed thousands of bills into law since he took office. Many of them went into effect on January 1, 2017. One of these bills, Senate Bill 1007 (now California Code of Civil Procedure 1282.5) allows any party to an arbitration the right to have a certified shorthand reporter transcribe any deposition, proceeding, or hearing as the official record.
Existing law establishes standards for arbitration and requires a court to vacate an arbitration award if it makes certain findings. The new law provides a way to document that the standards are or are not being following. The bill was authored by Senator Bob Wieckowski, who states, “People are often forced into binding private arbitration just by purchasing common goods or services, so it’s especially important for their protection that a court reporter is present to transcribe the proceedings and create an official record.”
CCP 1282.5 now reads as follows:
(a)(1) A party to an arbitration has the right to have a certified shorthand reporter transcribe any deposition, proceeding, or hearing. The transcript shall be the official record of the deposition, proceeding or hearing.
(2) A party requesting a certified shorthand reporter shall make his or her request in or at either of the following:
(b) If an arbitration does not provide for a certified shorthand reporter, the party requesting the transcript shall incur the expense of the certified shorthand reporter. However, in a consumer arbitration, a certified shorthand reporter shall be provided upon request of an indigent consumer as defined in Section 1284.3, at the expense of the nonconsumer party.
(c) If an arbitrator refuses to allow a party to have a certified shorthand reporter transcribe any deposition, proceeding, or hearing pursuant to this section, the party may petition the court for an order to compel the arbitrator to grant the party’s request. The petition may include a request for an order to stay an deposition, proceeding, or hearing related to the arbitration pending the court’s determination or the petition.
(d) This section does not add grounds for vacating an arbitration award pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 1286.2 or for correcting an arbitration award pursuant to Section 1286.6.