Certified Arbitrator Program

What is the Certified Arbitrator Program?

The Certified Arbitrator Program was created to serve Tier 2 Civil cases to aid in the speedy and efficient resolution of those matters where desired. Certified Arbitrators serve pursuant to Administrative Order 2020-106 and were created to better serve civil litigants during the exceptional conditions of the COVID-19 public health emergency and the ensuing period of transition to normal court operations.  More information can be found in the Tier 2 Arbitration Pilot Program informational sheet. 

Interested in Serving as a Certified Arbitrator?

If you are interested in serving as a Certified Arbitrator, please complete the interactive application. If you require assistance, you may contact Judge Pamela Gates at (602) 506-6391. 

Who May Be a Certified Arbitrator?

An attorney otherwise qualified to serve as an arbitrator pursuant to A.R.S. § 12-133 and Ariz. R. Civ. P. 73(c) may additionally apply to be designated as a Certified Maricopa County Superior Court Arbitrator (“Certified Arbitrator”). To do so, such an individual must provide to the Court their qualifications, including evidence they are in good standing with the State Bar of Arizona, their areas of concentration in practice, any certified specialties and experience, expertise, and training in serving as an arbitrator, and two letters of recommendation.

List of Certified Arbitrators

List of Certified Arbitrators

Electing to Use a Certified Arbitrator

The parties to any case where the amount in controversy is between $50,001 and $300,000 may elect to have their case determined by a Certified Arbitrator. To do so, they must file a Written Agreement to Certified Arbitration with the Court within 30 days after service of the complaint. If the parties want to use a particular Certified Arbitrator on the list maintained by the Court, their Written Agreement to Certified Arbitration must name that agreed-to Certified Arbitrator.  If more than 30 days have passed since service of the complaint, the parties may jointly file a Motion for Appointment of a Certified Arbitrator.

Procedure For Appointing Certified Arbitrator

If the parties’ chosen Certified Arbitrator is available to serve, the Court will appoint that Certified Arbitrator. If the parties do not agree on an arbitrator in their Written Agreement to Certified Arbitration, or if the one they selected is not available for any reason, the Court will select one for the parties. The parties retain their right to peremptorily challenge an assigned arbitrator.

Procedures for Arbitration

The Certified Arbitrator will utilize the procedures of Ariz. R. Civ. P. 72-76, but shall serve pursuant to Ariz. R. Civ. P. 53 as a Special Master, performing those duties by the parties’ agreement pursuant to Ariz. R. Civ. P. 53(a)(1)(A). Any appeal from the ruling of the Certified Arbitrator will thus be governed by the standards set forth in Ariz. R. Civ. P. 53(f)(3) - (5).

Agreement to Binding Arbitration

At any time before a hearing is held under Rule 75 before a Certified Arbitrator, the parties may stipulate that the results of the arbitration will be binding, meaning no party may appeal or collaterally attack the binding award except as allowed by A.R.S. § 12- 1501 et seq.

Compensation for the Certified Arbitrator

If the arbitration is not made binding by agreement of the parties, the Certified Arbitrator must be paid $2,000 for cases where the amount in controversy is $100,000 and below, $3,000 for cases between $100,001 and $200,000, and $4,000 for cases above $200,000. The parties must each pay their pro rata share of the total compensation. Before the Certified Arbitrator performs any duties, the parties must all either pay their share or consent to judgment in favor of the arbitrator in the amount of their share. However, if the parties agree to binding arbitration, they are not required to pay the Certified Arbitrator.

Looking for More Information About Compulsory Arbitration?

Please visit the Compulsory Arbitration page for more information about Compulsory Arbitration, which is a mandatory program for disputes valued under $50,000. 

Civil Presiding Judge
Pamela Gates


Luke Emerson
Civil Department Administrator
Contact the Civil Department

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