Ca. Litig. Rev. 2020

2020 ADR Case Review

By Paul Dubow

The COVID 19 pandemic did not deter courts from issuing decisions in 2020 that involved alternate dispute resolution. The United States Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit, the California Supreme Court, and the Court of Appeal issued 59 decisions that touched on ADR. All of them involved arbitration and the total is the highest in several years. We have summarized below nine of the most interesting cases from 2020.

Arbitrator’s Power to Issue Third Party Subpoenas

It is not unusual for a party in an arbitration to request the arbitrator issue a subpoena to a third party. If it is a subpoena for a witness to appear at the hearing and the arbitrator signs the subpoena, it is not a complicated matter. Either the witness shows up at the hearing (and often the requesting party knows that in advance) or the witness moves to quash (in which case the requesting party takes appropriate steps to defend the subpoena) or the witness fails to show (something that the requesting party can do little about).

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