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Arbitration Standards

Arbitration Standards and Registration Procedures (eff. January 1, 2003)

  
With Appendix: Good Character Requirement for Arbitrator Registration
(eff. January 29, 2016 - Currently awaiting supreme court approval)

Arbitration
 
View these detailed guidelines (PDF format).
PDF Arbitration Registration Standards and Procedures
PDF Appendix: Good Character Requirement for Arbitrator Registration

Go to the full Alabama Roster Application

I. State Court Arbitration Roster: The Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution ("Center") shall maintain a State Court Arbitrator Roster ("Roster") which consists of those arbitrators who meet the arbitrator registration standards and procedures herein. This Roster shall be maintained geographically by counties and shall be made available to all state court judges, attorneys and the general public.

II. Definition of Registration: For the purpose of these provisions, the term "registration" and the related forms of this word shall mean only that the standards and procedures set forth herein have been met to the satisfaction of the Center. This term does not imply any degree of arbitration skills or competency on behalf of any arbitrator subject to the provisions.

III. Arbitrator Registration Standards:  To be registered on the Roster, an arbitrator must meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. Be of good character.
     
  2. Be licensed as an attorney by one of the fifty states of the United States or the District of Columbia and in good standing, with eight years experience in the practice of law; or have served professionally as the arbitrator in at least four arbitrations within the three years immediately preceding submission of an application for registration: or be currently listed as an approved arbitrator for a neutral administrator for dispute resolution, which is recognized by the Center for maintaining high standards for members of its roster.
     
  3. Agree to abide by the American Arbitration Association Code of Ethics for Arbitrators in Commercial Cases as adopted by the Alabama Supreme Court Commission on dispute Resolution for those members of this Roster. A copy of that Code of Ethics is found at http://www.adr.org/si.asp?id=3514.

IV. Procedure for Registration: Individuals who seek to be registered on the Roster shall submit to the Center a completed application form. Should the individual meet the required standards and pay all applicable fees, his or her name shall be registered on the Roster as an arbitrator. To remain on the Roster, the arbitrator must meet such additional or different standards which may be hereafter imposed for registration. Registration decisions are made by the Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution. Applicants who are denied registration for any reason may appeal within thirty days of that denial to the Committee on Standards for Neutrals of the Alabama Supreme Court Commission on Dispute Resolution, which Committee may grant a hearing to the applicant. The Committee on Standards for Neutrals will make a determination of whether the applicant should be registered. An adverse decision of the Committee on Standards for Neutrals may be appealed to the full Alabama Supreme Court Commission on Dispute Resolution within thirty days of the date of such decisions. The Commission shall grant a hearing, if requested, to the applicant.

V. Fees: Individuals applying for arbitrator registration by the Center shall pay a $30 application fee.  If registration is approved, an annual fee of $125 for registration will be assessed; provided, the annual registration fee for an individual listed on the mediator and arbitrator rosters maintained by the Center shall be a total of $225 for both.  Failure to pay the annual assessment, or failure to meet the standards effective at the time of renewal will result in the individual being removed from the roster.
   

Appendix: Good Character Requirement for Arbitrator Registration
 
  1. General.  No person shall be registered as an arbitrator unless the person first produces satisfactory evidence of good character, as required in the Arbitration Standards & Registration Procedures.  An arbitrator shall have, as a prerequisite to registration and as a requirement for continuing registration, good character as set forth in subsequent sections.
     
  2. Purpose and Disclaimer.  The purpose of the good character requirement is to help protect participants in arbitration and the public, and to safeguard the justice system.  Any    inquiry into an applicant’s good character should not be deemed to be exhaustive or conclusive.  Participants to an arbitration also should use their own due diligence to ascertain the fitness or capability of an individual arbitrator to serve appropriately as arbitrator in their  particular dispute.
     
  3. Registration and Removal.  The following shall apply for initial and continuing arbitrator registration:
     
    1. The applicant’s or arbitrator’s character is subject to inquiry.
       
    2. In assessing whether the applicant’s or arbitrator’s conduct demonstrates a lack of good character, the Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution (Center) will consider,  without limitation, the following factors:
        (1)  the extent to which the conduct would interfere with an arbitrator’s duties and responsibilities;
        (2)  the factors underlying the conduct;
        (3)  the applicant’s or arbitrator’s age at the time of the conduct
        (4)  the recency of the conduct;
        (5)  the reliability of the information concerning the conduct;
        (6)  the seriousness of the conduct as it relates to arbitrator qualifications;
        (7)  the effect of the conduct or the totality of information gathered;
        (8)  any evidence of rehabilitation;
        (9) the applicant’s or arbitrator’s candor;
       (10) denial of application, disbarment, or suspension from any profession; and 
       (11) treatment or commitment for treatment for alcohol or other substance abuse.
        
    3. An applicant for initial registration who has been convicted of a felony shall be ineligible for registration until such person has received a restoration of civil rights or has been pardoned.
        
    4. A registered arbitrator shall be subject to removal from registration for any knowingly and willfully incorrect material information contained in any arbitrator application.  There is a presumption of knowing and willful violation if the application is completed, signed and notarized.
  4. Conviction of Crime.  A conviction of a felony or misdemeanor shall be reported by the arbitrator in writing to the Center within 30 days of such conviction.  The report shall include a copy of the judgment of conviction.
     
    1.  Upon receipt of a judgment of a felony conviction, the Center shall immediately suspend all registration and refer the matter to the Alabama Supreme Court Commission on Dispute Resolution (Commission).
       
    2.  Upon receipt of a judgment of a misdemeanor conviction, the Center shall refer the matter to the Commission for appropriate action.
       
    3. If the Center becomes aware of a conviction prior to the required notification, it shall suspend registration in the case of a felony, and refer the matter to the Commission for appropriate action.        

View and print the detailed guidelines in PDF format.
 
PDF Arbitration Registration Standards and Procedures

PDF Appendix: Good Character Requirement for Arbitrator Registration

Go to full Alabama Roster Application