|     printer icon  Printer-friendly version of this page

2017 California Rules of Court

Standard 12. Duties and limitations regarding future professional relationships or employment

(a) Offers as lawyer, expert witness, or consultant

From the time of appointment until the conclusion of the arbitration, an arbitrator must not entertain or accept any offers of employment or new professional relationships as a lawyer, an expert witness, or a consultant from a party or a lawyer for a party in the pending arbitration.

(b) Offers for employment or professional relationships other than as a lawyer, expert witness, or consultant

(1)In addition to the disclosures required by standards 7 and 8, within ten calendar days of service of notice of the proposed nomination or appointment, a proposed arbitrator must disclose to all parties in writing if, while that arbitration is pending, he or she will entertain offers of employment or new professional relationships in any capacity other than as a lawyer, expert witness, or consultant from a party or a lawyer for a party, including offers to serve as a dispute resolution neutral in another case.

(2)If the arbitrator discloses that he or she will entertain such offers of employment or new professional relationships while the arbitration is pending:

(A)In consumer arbitrations, the disclosure must also state that the arbitrator will inform the parties as required under (d) if he or she subsequently receives an offer while that arbitration is pending.

(B)In all other arbitrations, the disclosure must also state that the arbitrator will not inform the parties if he or she subsequently receives an offer while that arbitration is pending.

(3)A party may disqualify the arbitrator based on this disclosure by serving a notice of disqualification in the manner and within the time specified in Code of Civil Procedure section 1281.91(b).

(Subd (b) amended effective July 1, 2014.)

(c) Acceptance of offers under (b) prohibited unless intent disclosed

If an arbitrator fails to make the disclosure required by subdivision (b) of this standard, from the time of appointment until the conclusion of the arbitration the arbitrator must not entertain or accept any such offers of employment or new professional relationships, including offers to serve as a dispute resolution neutral.

(Subd (c) amended effective July 1, 2014.)

(d) Required notice of offers under (b)

If, in the disclosure made under subdivision (b), the arbitrator states that he or she will entertain offers of employment or new professional relationships covered by (b), the arbitrator may entertain such offers. However, in consumer arbitrations, from the time of appointment until the conclusion of the arbitration, the arbitrator must inform all parties to the current arbitration of any such offer and whether it was accepted as provided in this subdivision.

(1)The arbitrator in a consumer arbitration must notify the parties in writing of any such offer within five days of receiving the offer and, if the arbitrator accepts the offer, must notify the parties in writing within five days of that acceptance. The arbitrator's notice must identify the party or attorney who made the offer and provide a general description of the employment or new professional relationship that was offered including, if the offer is to serve as a dispute resolution neutral, whether the offer is to serve in a single case or multiple cases.

(2)If the arbitrator fails to inform the parties of an offer or an acceptance as required under (1), that constitutes a failure to comply with the arbitrator's obligation to make a disclosure required under these ethics standards.

(3)If an arbitrator has informed the parties in a pending arbitration about an offer as required under (1):

(A)Receiving or accepting that offer does not, by itself, constitute corruption in or misconduct by the arbitrator;

(B)The arbitrator is not also required to disclose that offer or its acceptance under standard 7; and

(C)The arbitrator is not subject to disqualification under standard 10(a)(2), (3), or (5) solely on the basis of that offer or the arbitrator's acceptance of that offer.

(4)An arbitrator is not required to inform the parties in a pending arbitration about an offer under this subdivision if:

(A)He or she reasonably believes that the pending arbitration is not a consumer arbitration based on reasonable reliance on a consumer party's representation that the arbitration is not a consumer arbitration;

(B)The offer is to serve as an arbitrator in an arbitration conducted under or arising out of public or private sector labor-relations laws, regulations, charter provisions, ordinances, statutes, or agreements; or

(C)The offer is for uncompensated service as a dispute resolution neutral.

(Subd (d) adopted effective July 1, 2014.)

(e) Relationships and use of confidential information related to the arbitrated case

An arbitrator must not at any time:

(1)Without the informed written consent of all parties, enter into any professional relationship or accept any professional employment as a lawyer, an expert witness, or a consultant relating to the case arbitrated; or

(2)Without the informed written consent of the party, enter into any professional relationship or accept employment in another matter in which information that he or she has received in confidence from a party by reason of serving as an arbitrator in a case is material.

(Subd (e) relettered effective July 1, 2014; adopted as subd (d).)

Standard 12 amended effective July 1, 2014.

Comment to Standard 12

Subdivision (d)(1). A party may disqualify an arbitrator for failure to make required disclosures, including disclosures required by these ethics standards (see Code Civ. Proc., § 1281.91(a) and standard 10(a)). Failure to disclose, within the time required for disclosure, a ground for disqualification of which the arbitrator was then aware is also a ground for vacatur of the arbitrator's award (see Code Civ. Proc., § 1286.2(a)(6)(A)).

Subdivision (d)(4)(B). The arbitrations identified under this provision are only those in which, under Code of Civil Procedure section 1281.85(b) and standard 3(b)(2)(H), the ethics standards do not apply to the arbitrator.

[ Back to Top ]