Consumer Resources


Sacramento County Bar Association
The Sacramento County Bar Association's commitment to the legal profession and community is to enhance the system of justice, the lawyers who serve it, and the community served by it.

State Bar of California
Created by the state legislature in 1927, the State Bar is a public corporation within the judicial branch of government, serving as an arm of the California Supreme Court. All State Bar members are officers of the court.

ABA Section on Dispute Resolution
The American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution provides its members and the public with creative leadership in the dispute resolution field by fostering diversity, developing and offering educational programs, providing technical assistance, and producing publications that promote problem-solving and excellence in the provision of dispute resolution services.

California Lawyer
California Lawyer is a monthly magazine that combines hard-hitting legal news, case commentary, and coverage of technology and business trends. Each issue includes news, reviews, profiles, and opinion. We combine concise legal information and practical advice with entertaining features.

Daily Journal and Daily Recorder
These newspapers publish on a daily basis the opinions of the appellate courts and California Supreme Court and provide newsworthy information to lawyers and judges.

Association for Conflict Resolution
The Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) is a professional organization dedicated to enhancing the practice and public understanding of conflict resolution. ACR represents and serves a diverse national and international audience that includes more than 6,000 mediators, arbitrators, facilitators, educators, and others involved in the field of conflict resolution and collaborative decision-making. Anyone interested in the field of conflict resolution is welcome to join.

Kaiser Permanente Member Arbitrations
Administered By The Office of the Independent Administrator. The Office of the Independent Administrator is the neutral entity that administers arbitrations brought pursuant to Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.'s contracts with its members. The system is designed to provide Health Plan members with a fair, speedy, cost effective, and confidential means of resolving disputes. The system is governed by a set of rules, "Rules for Kaiser Permanente Member Arbitrations." The rules are available from Kaiser Permanente at 1-800-464-4000 or from the Office of the Independent Administrator at 213-637-9847 or www.oia-kaiserarb.com.

The Office of the Independent Administrator maintains a panel of neutral arbitrators available to hear cases in this system. Within three days of receiving a demand for arbitration and the required filing fee or waiver, the Independent Administrator will send each party a randomly generated list of twelve arbitrators from its panel. The Independent Administrator will provide copies of the arbitrators' application materials, including names of references, and copies of the arbitrators' previous Kaiser decisions, if available. Parties then have twenty days to strike four names from the list and rank the remaining eight arbitrators in order of preference. The Independent Administrator then selects an arbitrator to serve on the case using the parties' selections. Rule 16 and Rules 18-19 provide more information about selecting an arbitrator. This system allows parties to jointly select any neutral arbitrator of their choosing, -- subject to the restrictions of California's new Ethics Standards for Neutral Arbitrators in Contractual Arbitration -- as long as that arbitrator agrees to follow the system's Rules. See Rule 17 for more information about joint selection of a neutral arbitrator.

American Bar Association - Dispute Resolution Conference
The Section of Dispute Resolution, established in 1993, is one of the ABA's newest and fastest growing Sections with over 7,500 members already. The Section's objectives include maintaining the ABA's national leadership role in the dispute resolution field; providing information and technical assistance to members, legislators, government departments and the general public on all aspects of dispute resolution; studying existing methods for the prompt and effective resolution of disputes; adapting current legal procedures to accommodate court-annexed and court-directed dispute resolution processes; activating state and local bar involvement in dispute resolution, conducting public and professional education programs such as the Multi-Door Dispute Resolution Courthouse Centers Project and conducting a program of research and development including programmatic and legislative models.

The Section has fifty committees including Arbitration, Mediation, International, Practice Development, among others. The Section has published the Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators in cooperation with the American Arbitration Association and the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution. The Standards are available on this web site.

For further information, please contact the Section of Dispute Resolution, American Bar Association, 740 Fifteenth Street, Washington DC 20005, telephone 202-662-1680, fax 202-662-1683.

Sacramento Superior Court
The Sacramento Superior Court has had a non binding arbitration program in place for many years. Pursuant to that program, parties in litigation may, and in some cases must, participate in the arbitration of their disputes. After the litigated case is referred to arbitration, a neutral arbitrator is chosen. The parties then put on a ďmini trialĒ before the neutral arbitrator. After the arbitration hearing, the arbitrator issues an award. If both sides are satisfied with the award, the case is resolved. If either side is dissatisfied with the award, that side rejects the award and the case proceeds to trial. Even if the arbitration award is rejected, the process and the decision provide the parties with a neutral personís insight into their case. The parties are able to see the case through a neutralís eyes. It may change a partyís evaluation of the case. Even in instances where one party rejects the arbitration award and the matter proceeds on the trial track, arbitration can have the ultimate effect of bringing the parties to settlement.

In the first quarter of 2007, the Sacramento Superior Court will be offering a new court-administered mediation program in civil cases as another form of its Alternative Dispute Resolution program. This program will be completely voluntary and will be at no cost to the litigants. The neutrals (mediators) will charge the court for the first three hours of their time and, if the mediation takes longer, and the parties desire to continue with mediation after the initial three hours, the parties will then share the cost of the mediator at rates agreed upon with the neutral.

El Dorado Superior Court
The Superior Court in El Dorado County has a successful dispute resolution program. This program focuses on the early resolution of civil cases. In El Dorado County, the parties choose two neutral mediators from the courtís list of approved mediators. The parties and claim representatives, early in the litigation process, sit down with the mediators to determine whether a case can be settled and, many times, the case is settled at this session before money and time is invested in the process of litigation.

State Bar of California
Founded in 1927 by the legislature, the State Bar of California is an administrative arm of the California Supreme Court. All lawyers practicing in California must be members of the State Bar. The mission of the State Bar: "Preserve and improve our justice system in order to ensure a free and just society under the law."

California Attorney General
The Attorney General represents the people of California in civil and criminal matters before trial, appellate and the supreme courts of California and the United States. The Attorney General also serves as legal counsel to state officers and, with few exceptions, to state agencies, boards and commissions. Exceptions to the centralized legal work done on behalf of the state are listed in Section 11041 of the Government Code.

California Courts
The California court system, the largest in the nation with more than 2,000 judicial officers, 18,000 court employees, and nearly nine million cases, serves over 34 million people. The state Constitution vests the judicial power of California in the Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal, and the superior courts. The Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal are appellate courts that primarily review superior court decisions.

California Insurance Commissioner
Insurance is a $80 billion-a-year industry in California. Overseeing the industry and protecting the state's insurance consumers is the responsibility of the California Department of Insurance (CDI). The CDI regulates, investigates and audits insurance business to ensure that companies remain solvent and meet their obligations to insurance policyholders.

California Secretary of State
The Secretary of State's responsibilities include: Serving as the state's Chief Elections Officer, Implementing electronic filing and Internet disclosure of campaign and lobbyist financial information, Chartering corporations, Commissioning notaries public, Overseeing the State Archives, Filing a host of documents from Uniform Commercial Code financing and tax lien information to certificates of limited partnerships and limited liability companies, Serving as an ex-officio member of the California State World Trade Commission, Serving as a trustee of the Golden State Museum

California State Assembly
The current Chief Clerk, E. Dotson Wilson, was first elected January 6, 1992, and was reelected by the Members of the Assembly for the 1993-94, 1995-96, 1997-98, 1999-2000, 2001-02 and 2003-04 Legislative Sessions. He serves as the Parliamentarian of the House, and also supervises a 30 member staff of legislative clerks.

The base of operations for the Chief Clerk and his staff is the Assembly Chamber. A long desk spans the width of the Chamber and serves as the permanent workstation for a dozen clerks, who process the thousands of bills and publish thousands of pages of information for the public record. Information compiled by this staff is made available to potentially millions of computer users via the Internet system.

California State Controller
The State Controller is the Chief Financial Officer of the State of California, elected by the people. It is the mission of the State Controller's Office to strengthen California's financial condition by being the leader in economic policy development; providing financial management services to state and local government; and being the independent protector of taxpayer dollars.

Consumer Attorneys of California
CAOC is an organization of attorneys who represent plaintiffs/consumers in the litigation of civil disputes. Typically, the attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, collecting their fee only upon successful resolution of the case. Attorneys who take matters on a contingency basis have determined that the case is worthy of investing their own resources and developing the matter and in trying it.

The Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California and Nevada
The ADCNC is an organization of more than 1,000 attorneys who represent defendants in litigated cases and in claims. The Association sponsors State Bar Accredited Continuing Education Programs. It is also involved in the legislative process on issues important to its members, its clients and the courts and it provides amicus briefs to the appellate courts on issues important to its members and their clients.

Defense Research Institute
The DRI is a national organization of defense trial lawyers and corporate counsel. The DRI provides numerous educational and informational resources to DRI members and offers opportunities for liaison among defense trial lawyers, Corporate America and state and local defense organizations. It also has an international presence, seeking to enhance understanding of the law among members of the defense community who have reason to be concerned with the expanding globalization of litigation defense.

American Board of Trial Advocates
ABOTA is a national association of consumer and defense attorneys devoted to preservation of the jury trial system and committed to the principles of civility, integrity and professionalism. ABOTA is committed to resolving disputes in a just, dignified, courteous and efficient manner. Members of ABOTA have mutual obligations to one another to enhance and preserve the dignity and integrity of our system of justice in the United States. Members of ABOTA practice these principles, not only when appearing in court when being observed by a judge, but in their day to day practices of law. Members of ABOTA will advance the legitimate interests of their clients in a manner that does not reflect ill will for their adversaries. Members of ABOTA will treat all attorneys, parties and witnesses in a courteous manner and will adhere to all promises and agreements, whether oral or written, in good faith. At all times, members of ABOTA will act in a dignified manner in court and otherwise.