ASSEMBLY BILL 4549 (WRIGHT – 1988)
CHAPTER 281, STATUTES OF 1988
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Evidence Code section 703.5 was amended in 1988 following legislative passage of Assembly Bill 4549, which affected this section only. (See Exhibit #1b) This bill was introduced by Assembly members Cathie Wright and Tom McClintock on February 10, 1988 at the request of an attorney from Ventura County serving as a judicial arbitrator for the Ventura County Superior and Municipal Courts. (See Exhibits #1a and #3, page 1)
Assembly Bill 4549 was heard in the Assembly and Senate Committees on Judiciary. (See Exhibits #3 and #6) There were no amendments made to Assembly Bill 4549 and the bill was forwarded to the Governor as introduced. (See Exhibits #1a and #2) The measure was approved by the Legislature on June 23, 1988, signed by Governor George Deukmejian on July 6, 1988, and recorded on July 7, 1988 as Chapter 281 of the Statutes of 1988. (See Exhibits #1b and #2)
The source of Assembly Bill 4549 was an attorney from Ventura County by the name of James P. Lingl. (See Exhibit #3, page 1) Mr. Lingl “served periodically in the capacity as a judicial arbitrator for the Ventura County Superior and Municipal Court.” (Id.) Mr. Lingl had been subpoenaed to appear and explain an arbitration decision in a bad faith action “. . . and that he bring to the deposition all his notes relating to the arbitration in which he had been appointed as an arbitrator.” (Id.)
The Consent analysis of Assembly Bill 4549 that was prepared by the Office of Senate Floor Analyses described this bill as follows:
DIGEST: This bill would prohibit an arbitrator from testifying in any subsequent civil proceeding as to matters relating to the arbitration proceedings, except as specified.
(See Exhibit #8, page 1)