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2017 California Rules of Court

Standard 8. Additional disclosures in consumer arbitrations administered by a provider organization

(a) General provisions

(1)Reliance on information provided by provider organization

Except as to the information in (c)(1), an arbitrator may rely on information supplied by the administering provider organization in making the disclosures required by this standard only if the provider organization represents that the information the arbitrator is relying on is current through the end of the immediately preceding calendar quarter or more recent. If the information that must be disclosed is available on the Internet, the arbitrator may comply with the obligation to disclose this information by providing in the disclosure statement required under standard 7(c)(1) the Internet address of the specific web page at which the information is located and notifying the party that the arbitrator will supply hard copies of this information upon request.

(2)Reliance on representation that not a consumer arbitration

An arbitrator is not required to make the disclosures required by this standard if he or she reasonably believes that the arbitration is not a consumer arbitration based on reasonable reliance on a consumer party's representation that the arbitration is not a consumer arbitration.

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

(b) Additional disclosures required

In addition to the disclosures required under standard 7, in a consumer arbitration as defined in standard 2 in which a dispute resolution provider organization is coordinating, administering, or providing the arbitration services, a proposed arbitrator who is nominated or appointed as an arbitrator on or after January 1, 2003 must disclose the following within the time and in the same manner as the disclosures required under standard 7(c)(1):

(1)Relationships between the provider organization and party or lawyer in arbitration

Any significant past, present, or currently expected financial or professional relationship or affiliation between the administering dispute resolution provider organization and a party or lawyer in the arbitration. Information that must be disclosed under this standard includes:

(A)The provider organization has a financial interest in a party.

(B)A party, a lawyer in the arbitration, or a law firm with which a lawyer in the arbitration is currently associated is a member of or has a financial interest in the provider organization.

(C)Within the preceding two years the provider organization has received a gift, bequest, or favor from a party, a lawyer in the arbitration, or a law firm with which a lawyer in the arbitration is currently associated.

(D)The provider organization has entered into, or the arbitrator currently expects that the provider organization will enter into, an agreement or relationship with any party or lawyer in the arbitration or a law firm with which a lawyer in the arbitration is currently associated under which the provider organization will administer, coordinate, or provide dispute resolution services in other noncollective bargaining matters or will provide other consulting services for that party, lawyer, or law firm.

(E)The provider organization is coordinating, administering, or providing dispute resolution services or has coordinated, administered, or provided such services in another pending or prior noncollective bargaining case in which a party or lawyer in the arbitration was a party or a lawyer. For purposes of this paragraph, "prior case" means a case in which the dispute resolution neutral affiliated with the provider organization concluded his or her service within the two years before the date of the arbitrator's proposed nomination or appointment, but does not include any case in which the dispute resolution neutral concluded his or her service before July 1, 2002.

(2)Case information

If the provider organization is acting or has acted in any of the capacities described in paragraph (1)(E), the arbitrator must disclose:

(A)The names of the parties in each prior or pending case and, where applicable, the name of the attorney in the current arbitration who is involved in the pending case or who was involved in the prior case;

(B)The type of dispute resolution services (arbitration, mediation, reference, etc.) coordinated, administered, or provided by the provider organization in the case; and

(C)In each prior case in which a dispute resolution neutral affiliated with the provider organization rendered a decision as an arbitrator, a temporary judge appointed under article VI, § 4 of the California Constitution, or a referee appointed under Code of Civil Procedure sections 638 or 639, the date of the decision, the prevailing party, the amount of monetary damages awarded, if any, and the names of the parties' attorneys.

(3)Summary of case information

If the total number of cases disclosed under paragraph (1)(E) is greater than five, the arbitrator must also provide a summary of these cases that states:

(A)The number of pending cases in which the provider organization is currently providing each type of dispute resolution services;

(B)The number of prior cases in which the provider organization previously provided each type of dispute resolution services;

(C)The number of such prior cases in which a neutral affiliated with the provider organization rendered a decision as an arbitrator, a temporary judge, or a referee; and

(D)The number of prior cases in which the party to the current arbitration or the party represented by the lawyer in the current arbitration was the prevailing party.

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

(c) Relationship between provider organization and arbitrator

If a relationship or affiliation is disclosed under subdivision (b), the arbitrator must also provide information about the following:

(1)Any financial relationship or affiliation the arbitrator has with the provider organization other than receiving referrals of cases, including whether the arbitrator has a financial interest in the provider organization or is an employee of the provider organization;

(2)The provider organization's process and criteria for recruiting, screening, and training the panel of arbitrators from which the arbitrator in this case is to be selected;

(3)The provider organization's process for identifying, recommending, and selecting potential arbitrators for specific cases; and

(4)Any role the provider organization plays in ruling on requests for disqualification of the arbitrator.

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

(d) Effective date

The provisions of this standard take effect on January 1, 2003. Persons who are serving in arbitrations in which they were appointed to serve as arbitrators before January 1, 2003, are not subject to this standard in those pending arbitrations.

Standard 8 amended effective July 1, 2014.

Comment to Standard 8

This standard only applies in consumer arbitrations in which a dispute resolution provider organization is administering the arbitration. Like standard 7, this standard expands upon the existing statutory disclosure requirements. Code of Civil Procedure section 1281.95 requires arbitrators in certain construction defect arbitrations to make disclosures concerning relationships between their employers or arbitration services and the parties in the arbitration. This standard requires arbitrators in all consumer arbitrations to disclose any financial or professional relationship between the administering provider organization and any party, attorney, or law firm in the arbitration and, if any such relationship exists, then the arbitrator must also disclose his or her relationship with the dispute resolution provider organization. This standard requires an arbitrator to disclose if the provider organization has a financial interest in a party or lawyer in the arbitration or if a party or lawyer in the arbitration has a financial interest in the provider organization even though provider organizations are prohibited under Code of Civil Procedure section 1281.92 from administering any consumer arbitration where any such relationship exists.

Subdivision (b). Currently expected relationships or affiliations that must be disclosed include all relationships or affiliations that the arbitrator, at the time the disclosure is made, expects will be formed. For example, if the arbitrator knows that the administering provider organization has agreed in concept to enter into a business relationship with a party, but they have not yet signed a written agreement formalizing that relationship, this would be a "currently expected" relationship that the arbitrator would be required to disclose.

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