The Colorado Court of Appeals has concluded that an arbitrator lacked the authority to personally sanction an attorney in connection with a scheme to fraudulently obtain a signature on a settlement agreement.

Touchstone Home Health LLC  had an agreement for legal services with Santangelo Law Offices P.C., which contained an arbitration clause, according to the appeals court’s Aug. 11 opinion. At the end of their relationship, Santangelo sought unpaid legal fees and demanded arbitration, according to the opinion. Touchstone’s attorney, Robert J. Herrera, participated in a preliminary hearing where the arbitrator stated “the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure shall govern [the arbitration] and the laws of the State of Colorado shall apply.”