When a dispute is in arbitration, and the arbitrator is designated, he or she is required to disclose to both sides all previous interaction he or she has or had with the clients and attorneys involved in the dispute so that the arbitrator can be removed if any conflicts exist. Most arbitrators understand and do this. However, some don't, and if they don't, it can become a real problem for the litigants. Why is that?
First, because the losing party may then have grounds to set aside the arbitration award based on an undisclosed conflict. Moreover, under the recent case of La Serena Properties v. Weisbach et. al. 2010 DJDAR 1101 (2010), the prevailing party, who no longer is the beneficiary of the arbitration award, likely will have no remedy against the arbitrator who failed to disclose or the tribunal with whom the arbitrator is affiliated. That is because the holding of that case gives the arbitrator and the tribunal with whom he or she is affiliated absolute immunity for the failure to disclose.