George H. Friedman is managing editor of the AAA's New York No-Fault Arbitration Reports and is also a second-year student in the evening program at the Rutgers University School of Law at Newark. He wishes to thank Rose P. Grieme, Laura Ferris Brown, and Jeannine Esswein of the American Arbitration Association and his wife, Ellen R. Friedman, for their assistance.
Court-imposed sanctions for the failure of an arbitrator to disclose in full any past or present relationships with the parties, their witnesses, or their attorneys before the hearing are considered in this article. The author also looks at the courts' disqualification and self-disqualification of arbitrators prior to the hearing and award. Postaward review raises the doctrine of "manifest disregard of law," propounded by the Supreme Court to set a standard for review of awards in cases with unrestricted submissions. Specific, forms of misconduct are examined, such as the failure to grant adjournments or to hear relevant testimony and the conduct of unfair hearings. Note is taken of the courts' attitude toward appeals of arbitrators' procedural rulings before the issuance of awards. The article concludes with a review of the development of judicial tort immunity for the arbitrator and arbitration agencies.