The Arbitral Tribunal - Part 1 - Chapter 4 - AAA Yearbook on Arbitration and the Law - 24th Edition
STEPHEN K. HUBER is Professor Emeritus at the University of Houston Law Center, and has served as a visiting professor at the University of Texas, Rice University (Political Science), Pepperdine Law School (Dispute Resolution Program), and the University of East Africa (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania). Mr. Huber is a member of the State Bar of Texas, and the editor of Alternative Resolutions, the quarterly journal of the Dispute Resolution Section. He is the author of numerous publications relating to arbitration.
THE ARBITRAL TRIBUNAL
4.01 Disqualification of Arbitrators: Evident Partiality and Related Grounds
Ventress v. Japan Airlines, 603 F.3d 676 (9th Cir. 2010)
An Arbitral award may be vacated on the basis of evident partiality only when there is actual bias or the facts establish a reasonable impression of partiality.
A flight engineer sued Japanese commercial air carrier, carrier’s subsidiary, and his employer, which provided contract flight crews to carrier, for violations of California’s whistleblower statute, wrongful termination, and emotional distress. The district court granted summary judgment for the carrier and subsidiary and compelled arbitration of all the claims against the employer. The district court confirmed the arbitration award in favor of the employer. The plaintiff appealed claiming that the arbitrator was biased against him because he had tried to disqualify him before and because of his race.
The Court of Appeals found that the confirmation of the arbitration award in favor of the employer was warranted. Hawaii law confines judicial review of an arbitration award to the strictest possible limits because legislative policy encourages arbitration of disputes. Evident partiality of an arbitrator exists only when there is actual bias on the part of the arbitrator or the facts demonstrate a reasonable impression of partiality. An arbitrator does not exceed his authority merely because he misunderstands or incorrectly applies the law. An award may be vacated only where the arbitrators intentionally and plainly disregarded the relevant substantive law.
CHAPTER 4 THE ARBITRAL TRIBUNAL
4.01 Disqualifying Arbitrators: Evident Partiality and Related Grounds
- Ventress v. Japan Airlines, 603 F.3d 676 (9th Cir. 2010)
- Uhl v. Komatsu Forklift Co., 513 F.3d 294 (6th Cir. 2008)
- Positive Software Solutions v. New Century Mortgage Corp., 476 F.3d 278 (5th Cir. 2007)
- New Regency Prods. v. Nippon Herald Films, Inc., 502 F.3d 1101 (9th Cir. 2007)
- Dealer Computer Servs., Inc. v. Michael Motor Co., Inc., 761 F.Supp.2d 459 (S.D. Tex. 2010)
- Rebmann v. Rohde, 127 Cal. Rptr. 3d 510 (4th Dist. 2011)
4.02 Structural Bias: Non-neutral Neutrals
- Haworth v. Superior Court, 235 P.3d 152 (Cal. 2010)
4.03 Failure of Arbitral Selection Provisions
- Ins. Co. of North Am. v. Public Service Mut. Ins. Co., 609 F.3d 122 (2d Cir. 2010)
- C.R. Klewin N.E., LLC v. City of Bridgeport, 919 A.2d 1002 (Conn. 2007)
- Quickclick Loans, LLC v. Russell, 407 Ill.App.3d 46 (Ill. Ct. App. 2d 2011)