Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Can't Sue The Arbitrator

The New Jersey Appellate Division held that an arbitrator is immune from suit ("Immunity trumps liability") for actions taken during a "protracted and contentious" arbitration. The case involved a dispute between a contractor and a homeowner. After the arbitrator has denied a request to disqualify counsel and called a recess, the contractor alleged that he was assaulted by the homeowner's counsel in the hallway during the recess. The contractor sued the arbitrator, but the court found no basis for liability: "Plaintiff's attempt to characterize [the arbitrator's] failure to control the homeowner's attorney as a abdication of his judicial or quasi-judicial authority is unavailing." Rather, control of proceedings is a core judicial function and is thus immune from a claim for damages. (Mike Frisch)

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Judicial Ethics and the Courts | Permalink

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