The arbitrator of this dispute did not comply with Ethical Standards 12(d) because while he said he was open to accepting offers to arbitrate other disputes involving one or more of the parties or attorneys, he did not affirm that he would notify the parties of his acceptance of any such offer. Plaintiff waived this ethical violation, however: she was aware of the violation but did not raise it before the arbitration award. A party cannot bet on the award while keeping a ground for disqualification of the arbitrator in her pocket. Nevertheless, the arbitrator also later violated Ethics Standards 12(d) and 7(d) by receiving and accepting offers to arbitrate other disputes involving defendant or its attorneys without notifying plaintiff of those offers and acceptances. Whether the failure to notify was the arbitrator’s fault or the fault of the AAA staff did not matter, plaintiff was entitled to automatic vacatur of the arbitration award under CCP 1286.2 based on the arbitrator’s knowing violation of the Ethical Standards.
California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 7 (Segal, J.); August 2, 2018; 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 679