Academy Member Inducted 2018

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Hon. Nickolas J. Dibiaso (Ret.), Arbitrator, Fresno, California.

Hon. Nickolas J. Dibiaso (Ret.)

Dowling Aaron Incorporated
8080 North Palm Avenue, Third Floor
Fresno, CA 93711
Tel: 559-432-4500
Fax: 559-432-4590
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Recognized to California Chapter for Arbitration

Regularly travels out of state to: Nevada, Oregon, Utah

Other ADR Services: ADR Training/CME, Court-Appointed Neutral (Special Master), Discovery Referee, Early Neutral Evaluation, Fact Finding, Mini-Trial Judge
Video Conferencing
  • Practice Commenced2006
  • # of MEDS (as of 23/7/24)500
  • # of ARBS (as of 23/7/24)200
Current Practice
Online / In-Person


Arbitrator:  Nickolas has presided over more than 300 proceedings as an arbitrator or court appointed officer. Acted as a panel chair, or wing, or solo arbitrator in 250 AAA, ICDR, or ad hoc arbitrations involving issues arising under the laws of California and/or Delaware, Nevada, Texas, Illinois, New York, Nebraska, Utah, and the United States.
          See full resume with specific cases at

           As an Arbitrator, Private Judge, Referee, and Special Master:

           GENERAL:  more than 300 proceedings as an arbitrator or court appointed officer.  Acted as a Panel chair, or wing, or solo arbitrator in 250 AAA, ICDR, or ad hoc arbitrations involving issues arising under the laws of California and/or Delaware, Nevada, Texas, Illinois, New York, Nebraska, Utah, and the United States.  

           CONTRACTS/BREACH OF CONTRACT: arbitrability, specific performance, implied contracts, quasi-contracts, executive employments and compensation, non-competition and non-solicitation covenants, industrial developments, LLC operating agreements, partnership agreements, mining and subsurface rights, oil and gas leases, product sales, accounts, accountings, security interests, UCC-1s, UCC sales transactions, settlement agreements, agency, professional medical corporations/associations/groups, hospital/physician specialty coverage agreements, express and implied warranties, automobile sales and financing, federal and state consumer protection legislation, technology consulting/services, franchises/franchising, licensing agreements, manufacturing agreements, Medicaid reimbursement services, high frequency/computer stock trading, sales of water rights, attorney partnership and employment agreements/fee disputes, sales of partnership interests, stock sales, contracts to negotiate;

           DISSOLUTIONS OF CORPORATIONS, LLCS, PARTNERSHIPS, LLPS, AND JOINT VENTURES: fair market/going concern/liquidation valuations, goodwill, breach of fiduciary duties, accountings, buy-out agreements, statutory buy-out provisions, appraiser appointment and review, appointment and supervision of liquidating trustee;

           CORPORATIONS: governance issues, director liability, shareholder buyouts, derivative actions, business/stock valuations/appraisals, majority-minority shareholder claims, shareholder agreements, business judgment rule, attorney disqualifications, trademark infringement, general and limited partnership relationships and agreements;

           CONSTRUCTION: contracts and subcontracts, breach, general and special conditions, extra work, delays, express and implied warranties, refinery, roadways, asphalt, buildings, concrete, electrical, workmanship, performance bonds, payment bonds, public/private works, loss of bonding capacity, Eichleay formula, “total cost”/other damage theories, mechanics’ liens and bonds; 

           AGRICULTURE: corporate/partnership dissolutions, agricultural packing/marketing contracts, retains, agricultural associations/cooperatives, conventional/organic products, marketing orders, grower agreements, custom farming contracts, federal crop insurance claims;

            REAL PROPERTY:  commercial, real estate sales and development, financing arrangements, shopping centers and leases, subdivisions, rents, estoppel certificates, undisclosed conditions, quiet title, warranty, partitions/partition referee appointment, options, lease/conditional sales, rights of first refusal, agents and brokers, valuations/appraisals, deed of trust/mortgage foreclosures and servicing entities, deeds in lieu, deficiency judgments, anti-deficiency legislation, guarantees/sham guarantees, D’Oench, Duhme, property management/sub-management agreements; 

            EMPLOYMENT:  breach of contracts, wages and hours, discrimination, harassment, wrongful actual/constructive discharge, violations of public policy, failure to interact or accommodate, retaliation, hostile work environment, privacy, FEHA, Title VII, ADA;

            INSURANCE:  life insurance, comprehensive general liability, excess insurance, reinsurance and participation agreements, extended coverages, endorsements, uninsured and underinsured motorists, federal crop insurance programs; agency/broker agreements, professional liability insurance;

            PROFESSIONAL NEGLIGENCE:  legal, accounting, 10-Ks, 10-Qs, audits and auditor liability, GAAP, GAAS, FDIC;

           PROBATE AND TRUST:  accountings/ objections to accountings, breach of fiduciary duties, trust creation and termination, creditor’s claims; 

           PERSONAL INJURY:  industrial accidents, automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles; 

           BREACH OF FIDUCIARY/ETHICAL DUTIES:  partnerships, corporations and corporate officers/directors, law firms, executors, trustees;

            HEALTH CARE AND HOSPITALS:  medical provider insurance reimbursement claims/HMO and other group health care insurance plans, plan coverages, medical necessity, accountings; 

            DAMAGES: tort, contract, general, special, bodily injury, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, reliance, mitigation, out of pocket rule, attorney fees and costs, punitive, front pay, back pay, alter ego liability, tort of another, prevailing party status, avoidable consequences, Stearman.  

            As Of Counsel

            Appeals (consultation, brief writing/editing, petitions for review, writ proceedings, “moot court” judge); Antitrust (counseling and compliance).

            As a Judge/Justice

            Jury and non-jury trials in complex and/or coordinated civil actions, including breach of contract, fraud, unfair competition, insurance coverage, corporations, insurance subrogation, partnerships, joint ventures, real estate, libel and slander, inverse condemnation, negligence, personal injury, professional malpractice, product liability, emotional distress, government claims, crop damage, and agricultural associations and cooperatives.  

            Appellate review of multitudes of issues arising in civil cases, including breach of contract, fraud, breach of fiduciary duties, unfair competition, Cartwright Act, insurance and insurance coverage, real property transactions, premises liability, CEQA, attorney fees, mortgages, foreclosures, personal injury, wrongful death, professional malpractice, class actions, corporations and corporate governance, LLCs, partnerships, joint ventures, construction contracts and subcontracts, mechanics’ liens, surety bonds, labor and employment, discrimination, wrongful termination, harassment, government tort claims, agency, sales transactions, condemnation, constitutional issues, workers’ compensation, crop damage, riparian water rights, administrative law, and attorney disqualifications.

            As an Attorney

            Litigation, trials, arbitrations and appeals in state and federal courts in commercial disputes, including antitrust, unfair competition, breach of contract, construction contracts and subcontracts (buildings, roads, wastewater treatment plants, underground construction and pipelines, grocery chain central processing facility, competitive bidding statutes, public and private works, mechanics liens, Miller Act), OSHA, commerce clause, insurance and insurance coverage, surety bonds, business torts, class actions, real property transactions, corporations and corporate governance, derivative actions, agricultural associations and cooperatives, tax fraud, EPA administrative audit proceedings, federal and state securities laws, DOJ antitrust investigation, FDIC bank insolvency proceeding, Federal Reserve Board Regulation U action, and public agencies and public service districts (water/irrigation/wastewater).

        As a Mediator:  
         Dual and multi-party cases involving breach of contract claims, construction project disputes, real estate transactions, property ownership matters, insurance coverage issues, medical malpractice claims, legal malpractice claims, accounting malpractice claims, public retirement system controversies, condemnation valuation questions, wrongful death and personal injury claims, employment controversies, class actions, partnership and corporate governance and dissolution disputes, shareholder derivative claims, trade secret disputes, hospital governance matters, health care elder abuse, medical payor-payee disputes, public service districts, unfair competition claims, probate and trust controversies and unfair compensation matters.

Case Experience

  • Agricultural
  • Anti-Trust
  • Appellate
  • Banking & Finance
  • Business Dissolution
  • Class Actions
  • Commercial/Business
  • Construction
  • Consumer Fraud
  • Contract Disputes
  • Discrimination
  • EEOC
  • Elder Abuse
  • Eminent Domain
  • Employment
  • Energy Sector (Oil/Gas)
  • Engineering
  • Environmental
  • Family Businesses
  • Franchise
  • Health Care
  • Industrial
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • International
  • Land Use/Planning
  • Landlord/Tenant
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Local Govt./Municipalities
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Mining
  • Mortgage Foreclosure
  • Partnerships
  • Personal Injury
  • Premises Liability
  • Probate
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Fees
  • Professional Liability
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Professional Negligence
  • Property Damage
  • Public Policy
  • Real Estate
  • Securities
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Shareholder Disputes
  • Title Disputes
  • Torts
  • Trademarks/Patents
  • Transportation
  • Trusts / Estates
  • Unfair Competition
  • Wage & Hour/FMLA
  • Workers' Compensation
  • Wrongful Death


  • University of Santa Clara, B. A. History (Magna Cum Laude) (1965)
  • Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley, Juris Doctor (1968)

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Fellow, College of Commercial Arbitrators
  • Member, California Academy of Appellate Lawyers ,
  • American Arbitration Association/ICDR Judges Panel, Large Complex Case Panel, Commercial Case Panel, International Panel, Employment Panel. Heath Care Panel, Appellate Panel, and Master Mediators' Panel.
  • Member, State Judges' Panel, Federal Arbitration, Inc. ("FedArb")
  • "AV" Martindale rating
  • Daily Journal, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Northern California ADR "Superlawyer."

Rates Information

Please call for details or see Resume at

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