One advantage of binding arbitration is that decisions are subject to only limited grounds for judicial review and thus a greater degree of finality. However, in recent years, Texas courts have demonstrated that they will not shy away from vacating arbitration awards for “evident partiality” if attorneys and arbitrators do not take the requisite care to disclose all “facts which might, to an objective observer, create a reasonable impression of the arbitrator’s partiality.” Although arbitrators are not required to disclose relationships or connections that are trivial, arbitrators should err in favor of disclosure. Likewise, counsel should carefully scrutinize for accuracy and completeness each arbitrator’s disclosures related to them, their firms, and their clients to protect favorable awards and avoid vacatur after the time and expense of arbitration. To that end, this article discusses some of the facts and connections that Texas attorneys and arbitrators should consider when making disclosures in arbitration.
Dallas Bar Association Headnotes
Avoiding Evident Partiality in Arbitration
June 24, 2019