In addressing appointment and disclosure issues, the goals of arbitrators are (1) to comply with applicable law, institutional rules, and party agreements, and (2) to ensure that they are, and reasonably appear to be, impartial and independent.
To ensure a fair arbitration process, neutral arbitrators must be impartial and independent. An effective disclosure and appointment process, in compliance with applicable law, institutional rules, ethical standards, and the parties’ agreement, is essential for retaining public confidence in the arbitral process and ensuring the enforceability of arbitration awards. Revised in March 2004, the AAA and American Bar Association (ABA) Code of Ethics for Arbitrators in Commercial Disputes (AAA/ABA Code) sets forth generally accepted standards of ethical conduct for commercial arbitrators, including standards relating to appointment, disclosure, and disqualification of arbitrators. This chapter examines those subjects in relation to neutral arbitrators. Chapter 3, infra, discusses appointment, disclosure, and disqualification of arbitrators who are not expected to act as neutrals. Many of the topics in this chapter also are addressed in Chapter 13, infra, pertaining to intratribunal relations between arbitrators serving on tripartite panels.