10312. Disclosures Required of Arbitrators and Director's Authority to Disqualify
This Code was superseded by the Customer Code (Rule 12000 Series) and the Industry Code (Rule 13000 Series) on April 16, 2007, for claims filed on or after that date. The Code remains in effect, however, for cases filed before April 16, 2007.
(a) Each arbitrator shall be required to disclose to the Director of Arbitration any circumstances which might preclude such arbitrator from rendering an objective and impartial determination. Each arbitrator shall disclose:
(1) Any direct or indirect financial or personal interest in the outcome of the arbitration;
(2) Any existing or past financial, business, professional, family, social, or other relationships or circumstances that are likely to affect impartiality or might reasonably create an appearance of partiality or bias. Persons requested to serve as arbitrators must disclose any such relationships or circumstances that they have with any party or its counsel, or with any individual whom they have been told will be a witness. They must also disclose any such relationship or circumstances involving members of their families or their current employers, partners, or business associates.
(b) Persons who are requested to accept appointment as arbitrators must make a reasonable effort to inform themselves of any interests, relationships or circumstances described in paragraph (a) above.
(c) The obligation to disclose interests, relationships, or circumstances that might preclude an arbitrator from rendering an objective and impartial determination described in paragraph (a) is a continuing duty that requires a person who accepts appointment as an arbitrator to disclose, at any stage of the arbitration, any such interests, relationships, or circumstances that arise, or are recalled or discovered.
(d) Removal by Director
(1) The Director may remove an arbitrator based on information that is required to be disclosed pursuant to this Rule.
(2) After the commencement of the earlier of (A) the first pre-hearing conference or (B) the first hearing, the Director may remove an arbitrator based only on information not known to the parties when the arbitrator was selected. The Director's authority under this subparagraph (2) may be exercised only by the Director of the Office of Dispute Resolution.
(3) The Director will grant a party's request to disqualify an arbitrator if it is reasonable to infer, based on information known at the time of the request, that the arbitrator is biased, lacks impartiality, or has an interest in the outcome of the arbitration. The interest or bias must be direct, definite, and capable of reasonable demonstration, rather than remote or speculative.
(e) The Director shall inform the parties to an arbitration proceeding of any information disclosed to the Director under this Rule unless either the arbitrator who disclosed the information withdraws voluntarily as soon as the arbitrator learns of any interest, relationship, or circumstances described in paragraph (a) that might preclude the arbitrator from rendering an objective and impartial determination in the proceeding, or the Director removes the arbitrator.
Amended by SR-FINRA-2015-034 eff. Dec. 20, 2015.
Amended by SR-FINRA-2008-021 eff. Dec. 15, 2008.
Amended by SR-NASD-2003-95 eff. July 19, 2004.
Amended by SR-NASD-2000-34 eff. Mar. 8, 2001.
Amended by SR-NASD-98-48 eff. Nov. 17, 1998.
Amended eff. May 10, 1989.
Selected Notices: 98-90; 01-13; 04-49, 08-57, 16-04.