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Is a Neutral Party-Appointed Arbitrator an Oxymoron?

On March 9, 2021 by Schnader in Alternative Dispute Resolution

Ralph G. Wellington, Co-Chair of Schnader’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice Group, published an article, “Is a Neutral Party-Appointed Arbitrator an Oxymoron?” in Dispute Resolution Magazine of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution. The article includes comments by Schnader’s Timothy K. Lewis.

Although the subject of party-appointed arbitrator neutrality has been written about and debated for some time, significant uncertainty remains. Three crucial questions continue to present potential challenges for individuals serving in this role and those making the appointments:

  • Is a party-appointed arbitrator ever completely neutral?
  • Do parties who appoint an arbitrator expect that arbitrator to favor their position?
  • Do party-appointed arbitrators think that it is part of their role to make sure the position of the party who appointed them is effectively presented?

Raising and resolving these questions about neutrality is crucial to the continued long-term health of the arbitral process, just as arbitration itself is crucial to the overall rule of law.

Click here to read the full article. Or download it here.

Also, click here for details and to register for a virtual CLE program hosted by the ABA on this same topic on March 24, 2021, featuring Wellington and Lewis.

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