The Customer Code applies to claims filed on or after April 16, 2007. In addition, the list selection provisions of the Customer Code apply to previously filed claims in which a list of arbitrators must be generated after April 16, 2007; in these cases, however, the claim will continue to be governed by the remaining provisions of the old Code unless all parties agree to proceed under the new Code.
(a) Before appointing arbitrators to a panel, the Director will notify the arbitrators of the nature of the dispute and the identity of the parties. Each potential arbitrator must make a reasonable effort to learn of, and must disclose to the Director, any circumstances which might preclude the arbitrator from rendering an objective and impartial determination in the proceeding, including:
(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 with any party, any party's representative, or anyone who the arbitrator is told may be a witness in the proceeding, that are likely to affect impartiality or might reasonably create an appearance of partiality or bias;
(3) Any such relationship or circumstances involving members of the arbitrator's family or the arbitrator's current employers, partners, or business associates; and
(4) Any existing or past service as a mediator for any of the parties in the case for which the arbitrator has been selected.
(b) 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 an arbitrator who accepts appointment to an arbitration proceeding to disclose, at any stage of the proceeding, any such interests, relationships, or circumstances that arise, or are recalled or discovered.
(c) The Director will inform the parties to the arbitration of any information disclosed to the Director under this rule unless the arbitrator who disclosed the information declines appointment or voluntarily withdraws from the panel as soon as the arbitrator learns of any interest, relationship or circumstance that might preclude the arbitrator from rendering an objective and impartial determination in the proceeding, or the Director removes the arbitrator.