Arbitrator Not Liable for Assault During Recess
Why do you think they call it recess?
When tempers flare to the boiling point, arbitrators who fail to prevent recess assaults are immune from suit according to the New Jersey appellate court, as detailed in this Law.com article, Arbitrator is Not Liable for Attorneys Alleged Assault here. Excerpt below:
When fists fly at an arbitration proceeding, the arbitrator isn't liable for not averting the altercation, a New Jersey appeals court says in an interpretation of the model Arbitration Act.
The judges, in Malik v. Ruttenberg, A-6615-06, reversed a trial court's refusal to dismiss a suit charging an arbitrator knew of a lawyer's dangerous propensities yet did not remove him from the case, and an assault allegedly ensued when a recess was called.
The appeals court found that decisions relating to control of the arbitral forum are within the immunity accorded by the N.J. Arbitration Act, adopted from the model act devised by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.
Eric Tuchman, the general counsel for the American Arbitration Association -- a defendant in the case -- says the ruling is the first in the nation to interpret the act's immunity provision.
The act has been adopted in 13 states, including New Jersey, and is under consideration in four others.
"Opinions like this really permit arbitrators and sponsoring organizations to preside over and administer cases in a way that is free and impartial," Tuchman says.
For remainder of article, click here.