This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/16/2019 at 12:15:11 (UTC).

DANIEL W BALDWIN VS SARA R GOMEZ

Case Summary

On 01/18/2018 a Contract - Other Contract case was filed by DANIEL W BALDWIN against SARA R GOMEZ in the jurisdiction of Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******0985

  • Filing Date:

    01/18/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

ELAINE LU

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

BALDWIN DANIEL W DBA LAW OFFICES OF BALDWIN & BALDWIN

Defendant

GOMEZ SARA R

 

Court Documents

Notice (name extension) - Notice of Ruling

7/31/2019: Notice (name extension) - Notice of Ruling

Petition (name extension) - Petition to Confirm

11/8/2018: Petition (name extension) - Petition to Confirm

Petition to Confirm Arbitration Award - Petition to Confirm Arbitration Award

5/23/2019: Petition to Confirm Arbitration Award - Petition to Confirm Arbitration Award

Minute Order - Minute Order (Non-Jury Trial)

7/18/2019: Minute Order - Minute Order (Non-Jury Trial)

Proof of Personal Service

2/23/2018: Proof of Personal Service

Summons - on Complaint

1/18/2018: Summons - on Complaint

Civil Case Cover Sheet

1/18/2018: Civil Case Cover Sheet

Complaint

1/18/2018: Complaint

Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

1/18/2018: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

 

Docket Entries

  • 01/21/2021
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department 94 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service

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  • 09/18/2019
  • Hearingat 09:00 AM in Department 94 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to Confirm Arbitration Award

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  • 07/31/2019
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by: Daniel W Baldwin (Plaintiff); As to: Sara R Gomez (Defendant)

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  • 07/18/2019
  • DocketHearing on Motion to Confirm Arbitration Award scheduled for 09/18/2019 at 09:00 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 07/18/2019
  • DocketMinute Order (Non-Jury Trial)

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  • 07/18/2019
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 07/18/2019 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94 updated: Result Date to 07/18/2019; Result Type to Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Court

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  • 05/23/2019
  • DocketPetition to Confirm Arbitration Award; Filed by: Daniel W Baldwin (Plaintiff); As to: Sara R Gomez (Defendant)

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  • 11/08/2018
  • DocketPetition to Confirm; Filed by: Daniel W Baldwin (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/23/2018
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: Daniel W Baldwin (Plaintiff); As to: Sara R Gomez (Defendant); Service Date: 02/12/18; Service Cost: 38.00; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 02/20/2018
  • DocketCase reassigned to Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Department 77

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  • 01/19/2018
  • DocketUpdated -- Summons on Complaint: Name Extension changed from on Complaint to on Complaint

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  • 01/18/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Daniel W Baldwin (Plaintiff); As to: Sara R Gomez (Defendant)

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  • 01/18/2018
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Daniel W Baldwin (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/18/2018
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Clerk

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  • 01/18/2018
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 01/18/2018
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Elaine Lu in Department 77 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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  • 01/18/2018
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 07/18/2019 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 77

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  • 01/18/2018
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause - Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 01/21/2021 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 77

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 18STLC00985    Hearing Date: December 04, 2019    Dept: 94

TENTATIVE RULING:

Petitioner Daniel W. Baldwin dba Law Offices of Baldwin & Baldwin’s Petition to Confirm Attorney-Client Fee Arbitration Award is GRANTED.

ANALYSIS:

I. Discussion

On July 24, 2018, Petitioner and Respondent arbitrated their claims before arbitrator John P. Goffin from the San Fernando Valley Bar Association. An arbitration award was issued in favor of Petitioner and against Respondent in an amount of $9,288.16 on August 6, 2018. Petitioner filed the instant petition to confirm the arbitration award on May 23, 2019.

II. Legal Standard

“Regardless of the particular relief granted, any arbitrator’s award is enforceable only when confirmed as a judgment of the superior court.” (O’Hare v. Municipal Resource Consultants (2003) 107 Cal.App.4th 267, 278.) “Once a petition to confirm an award is filed, the superior court must select one of only four courses of action: it may confirm the award, correct and confirm it, vacate it, or dismiss the petition.” (EHM Productions, Inc. v. Starline Tours of Hollywood, Inc. (2018) 21 Cal.App.5th 1058, 1063.) It is well settled that the scope of judicial review of arbitration awards is extremely narrow.” (California Faculty Assn. v. Superior Court (1998) 63 Cal.App.4th 935, 943.) “Neither the trial court, nor the appellate court, may ‘review the merits of the dispute, the sufficiency of the evidence, or the arbitrator’s reasoning, nor may we correct or review an award because of an arbitrator’s legal or factual error, even if it appears on the award’s face.” (Id.)

III. Discussion

Petitioner filed the instant petition to confirm the arbitration award issued in its favor and against Respondent in an attorney-client fee arbitration conducted pursuant to Business and Professions Code sections 6200-6206.

Business and Professions Code sections 6200-6206 (the Mandatory Fee Arbitration Act (“MFAA”)) requires that an attorney arbitrate any fee disputes at the option of the client. (See Giorgianni v. Crowley (2011) 197 Cal.App.4th 1462, 1472.) Under the MFAA, it is presumed that an arbitration award will be nonbinding, unless the attorney and client agree that it will be binding after the dispute has arisen. (See id.; see also Bus. & Prof. Code, § 6204(a).) If the arbitration is not binding, either party may request a trial de novo within 30 days after the arbitration has concluded. (See Giorgianni, supra, 197 Cal.App.4th at 1472; see also Bus. & Prof. Code, § 6204(a).) “Absent the filing of a timely rejection and request for trial, the arbitration award becomes final.” (Giorgianni, supra, 197 Cal.App.4th at 1473; see also Bus. & Prof. Code, § 6203(b).) A party to an attorney-client fee arbitration may petition to confirm, vacate, or correct an arbitration award in the same manner as arbitration awards may be confirmed under CCP sections 1285, et seq. of the California Arbitration Act. (See Bus. & Prof. Code, § 6203(b); Giorgianni, supra, 197 Cal.App.4th at 1470.)

A.

CCP § 1285.4 states: “A petition under this chapter shall:

  1. Set forth the substance of or have attached a copy of the agreement to arbitrate unless the petitioner denies the existence of such an agreement.

  2. Set forth the names of the arbitrators.

(c) Set forth or have attached a copy of the award and the written opinion of the arbitrators, if any.”

Petitioner has submitted a copy of the arbitration award and name of the arbitrator. (Pet., Item No. 4, Attachment 6(c).) Although Petitioner has not submitted a copy of the arbitration agreement or set forth the substance of the arbitration agreement, the Court notes that the agreement to arbitrate in this case was made pursuant to the MFAA. Petitioner has thus satisfied CCP section 1285.4 requirements.

B. Service of the Arbitration Award, Petition, and Notice of Hearing (CCP §§ 1283.6, 1290.4)

CCP § 1283.6 provides that: “The neutral arbitrator shall serve a signed copy of the award on each party to the arbitration personally or by registered or certified mail or as provided in the agreement.”  (Emphasis added.)

CCP § 1290.4 states in pertinent part:

“(a) A copy of the petition and a written notice of the time and place of the hearing thereof and any other papers upon which the petition is based shall be served in the manner provided in the arbitration agreement for the service of such petition and notice.

(b) If the arbitration agreement does not provide the manner in which such service shall be made and the person upon whom service is to be made has not previously appeared in the proceeding and has not previously been served in accordance with this subdivision: ¶ (1) Service within this State shall be made in the manner provided by law for the service of summons in an action.”

Here, a proof of service showing that the petition was served on Respondent by mail on April 19, 2019 is attached to the petition. Petitioner served a Notice of Ruling indicating that the hearing was set for September 18, 2019 on July 24, 2019 and a Notice of Continuance indicating that the hearing was continued from September 18, 2019 to December 4, 2019 on October 18, 2019. (7/31/19 Notice of Ruling; 10/22/19 Notice of Continuance.) Petitioner has also submitted proof of service demonstrating that the arbitration award was served by the neutral arbitrator on the parties by mail on September 24, 2018. (Pet., Attachment 6(c).) Petitioner has thus satisfied CCP § 1290.4 and § 1283.6.

C. Timeliness of Petition (CCP §§ 1288, 1288.4)

A party may seek a court judgment confirming an arbitration award by filing and serving a petition at least 10 days, but no more than four years after the award is served on Respondents and Petitioners.  (CCP §§ 1288, 1288.4.) 

Here, the arbitration award was served on the parties on September 24, 2018. (Pet., Attachment 6(c).) The petition was filed on May 23, 2019. The petition was thus filed more than ten days, but less than four years after the award was served. The petition is thus timely under CCP § 1288 and § 1288.4.

IV. Conclusion & Order

Based on the foregoing, the petition is GRANTED.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the Court at SMCdept94@lacourt.org as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org. If the department does not receive an email and there are no appearances at the hearing, the motion will be placed off calendar.