Standard Of Review Pretty Much Ordained The Result Here, And Nothing Was Changed By Appealing
This is one of those “Cain v. Abel” disputes, in which beneficiaries/brothers (Douglas and Martin Buser), fought over their parents’ family trust. It appears Douglas fought tooth and nail, but unsuccessfully, getting hit with attorney’s fees assessed against his share of the trust estate, and monetary sanctions for his pursuit of an unmeritorious renewed motion or reconsideration petition. Buser v. Buser, D63381 (4th Dist. Div. 1 July 3, 2014) (Huffman, McIntyre, Aaron) (unpublished). Nothing was changed by Douglas’ appeal, except that Martin failed to get appellate sanctions, because the Court could not say that Douglas’ appeal was wholly frivolous.
The battling brothers had agreed to a settlement that included a broad arbitration provision, which settlement the trial court enforced, sending the disputed matters to arbitration. Because the brothers’ dispute was resolved with an arbitration award, the losing brother, Douglas, had a tough row to hoe to try and show the arbitrator exceeded his powers. As the Court made clear:
"’Our review of an arbitration award requires us to extend to it every intendment of validity and the party claiming error has the burden of supporting his contention.’ (Ibid., citing Cobler v. Stanley, Barber, Southard, Brown & Associates (1990) 217 Cal.App.3d 518, 526 (Cobler).) It is well accepted ‘ “ ‘[t]he powers of an arbitrator are limited and circumscribed by the agreement or stipulation of submission.’”’”