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Arbitration Ethics: Essential Norms and Impactful Surprises

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Produced on June 26, 2016

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Course Information

Time 1h 15m
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Ethics Alternative Dispute Resolution

Course Description

In this course, experienced arbitrators and counsel – Dan Kolb (Davis Polk) and Edna Sussman (www.sussmanadr.com) – lay out a broad picture of ethical guidelines for arbitration from a range of forums and jurisdictions, and consider unexpected ethical issues and pitfalls that can befall arbitrators and impact parties and counsel.

Join these experts as they review core ethical norms expressed in the ABA/AAA Code of Ethics for Arbitrators and the International Bar Association Guidelines for Conflicts of Interest in International Arbitration and consider disclosure requirements in varying jurisdictions, discussing the risk that insufficient disclosures lead to vacated awards. They also discuss limitations on arbitrators’ taking on other engagements or serving in multiple capacities, and see how differences in ethical obligations of counsel across jurisdiction may create situations in which one party can be significantly advantaged over another based on what counsel may or may not do. 


Learning Objectives:

I.     Understand the ABA/AAA Code of Ethics for Arbitrators and the International Bar Association’s Guidelines for Conflicts of Interest for arbitrators 

II.    Identify what to expect of a party appointed arbitrator

III.   Recognize disclosures you can expect an arbitrator to make 

IV.   Discuss whether you can hire your arbitrator for another matter or whether you may ask your arbitrator to serve as your mediator

V.    Grasp who is obligated to maintain confidentiality 

VI.   Develop an understanding of the differences in the ethical obligations of counsel across jurisdictions 

VII.  Ensure the leveling of the playing field in an international arbitration 

VIII. Appreciate if and when it is appropriate to challenge the arbitrator 

This course originally appeared as a part of our June 2016 Bridge the Gap Event.

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


Edna Sussman

SussmanADR LLC

Edna Sussman is the principal of SussmanADR LLC and has been appointed as the Distinguished ADR Practitioner in Residence by the Fordham University School of Law. She started her career as a litigation associate and then partner at a prominent international law firm. Now a full time arbitrator and mediator, over the past 20 years she has served as the arbitrator or mediator in well over 100 arbitrations and well over 100 mediations in both domestic and international complex commercial disputes. 

Ms.Sussman is one of five arbitration trainers nationwide for the American Arbitration Association's new arbitrators, serves on the boards and executive committees of the American Arbitration Association and the College of Commercial Arbitrators and as Vice Chair of the New York International Arbitration Center. She has published and lectured extensively on the arbitration and mediation process. She has won recognition and awards in the fields of arbitration and mediation, including being selected by Chambers USA as prominent in International Arbitration, listed in the Who’s Who of international Arbitration and the Who’s Who of International Mediation, rated Tier 1 by U.S. New & World Report for arbitration and mediation and listed annually in Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers for Alternative Dispute Resolution. Based on peer reviews, she was named by Best Lawyers as the 2012 New York City Mediation Lawyer of the Year and as one of the ten outstanding international mediators in Who’s Who International Commercial Mediation 2013.

Ms Sussman serves on leading ADR panels including those administered by the American Arbitration Association (AAA), the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR), the Swiss, Vienna, Hong Kong, South China, Korea, British Columbia, Dubai, and Kuala Lumpur Arbitration Centres, Energy Arbitrators List Around the World, FINRA, National Futures Association, U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, federal, state and bankruptcy courts in N.Y., and is listed by the ICC and the LCIA

As an arbitrator, Ms. Sussman ensures that the parties get a fair and effectively managed proceeding. As a mediator, Ms. Sussman has a talent for guiding the parties to a mutually satisfactory settlement of the dispute.

Daniel F. Kolb

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Dan Kolb has over 45 years of experience as a Litigation Partner and now Senior Counsel at Davis Polk & Wardwell, representing a wide range of commercial clients in Federal and State Trial and Appellate Courts throughout the United States. He has handled significant matters centering on securities, banking, accounting and tax fraud, professional liability, contract, antitrust, estate and Constitutional issues. In his practice he has been involved in numerous arbitrations and mediations and in a range of international matters, serving for many years as Practice Coordinator for the Davis Polk Litigation Department and Head of its Washington Office.

Since becoming Senior Counsel in 2011, Dan has become a committed Arbitrator and Mediator. He is a Member of the American Arbitration Association Accounting and Commercial Arbitration and Mediation Panels and CPR’s Panel of Distinguished Neutrals. He serves regularly as a Court Appointed Mediator for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and the Appellate Division First Department and is a member of the New York Supreme Court Commercial Division Panel of Mediators. His experience as a neutral covers a wide range of commercial matters.

Dan is an active Member of the New York State Bar Dispute Resolution Section, serving currently as Chair-Elect of the Section and Co-Chair of its Ethics Committee, and having served as Co-Chair of its Diversity Committee. He is also a Member of the New York City Bar ADR Committee and the American Arbitration Association’s Accounting Advisory Committee. He has served as a Member of the Mediation Advisory Committee for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Apart from experience as a neutral Dan has Chaired the Executive, Judiciary and Litigation Committees of the New York City Bar, and served as Co-Chair of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Chair of the Access to Justice Committee of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He is currently serving as a Vice-Chair of the Legal Aid Society Board and as a Board Member of the Brennan Center For Justice, chairing its Audit and Governance Committees.


Robin K.

Incredibly knowledgeable and well prepared speakers

Christopher S.

Good program

Vishal P.

Excellent course. The presenters were highly knowledgeable. One recommendation: both presenters are from New York. Perhaps including someone from California or another state with different practices would be handy.

Anthony R.


Alan S.

So good listened to parts of this twice. Would have liked a transcript. Faculty did not hold back - candid and informative.

Kimberly H.

Great presentation

Richard W.

Great class.

Henry S. S.

A very good and informative presentation. Thank you.

Paul K.

Well presented. Well prepared.

Catherine E.

Definitely one of the better programs. Would like to see more by these same attorneys.

Ed V.

Very well organized and comprehensive

Joseph D.

extremely enjoyable and worthwhile

Jason O.

I really enjoyed this one

Beth S.

Loved how the presenters broke up their presentation. Truly a joint presentation.

Robert F.


Michel L.

Two very intelligent, knowledgeable, pragmatic and compelling presenters, One of the best presentations to which I have been exposed in my more than 40 years of practice. Kudos and keep up the superior and informative work!

Francine C.

informative and helpful

Michael N.

Nice presentation

Leslie R.

This was an excellent course taught by instructors with in depth practice knowledge of arbitration.

Laura R.


Tracy L.

I appreciated the case study examples.

Anthony R.

Good production

cindy m.

The speakers were outstanding; they raised several issues that you don't think about until you are in the middle of the process. I found this program particularly relevant and very informative. Thank you.

Arthur R.

Subject are well covered

Dennis S.

Both lecturers were very clear; very well done.

Patricia R.

Great presentation!

Robert Mel G.

all good

Bridget H.

Very thorough.

Michael V.

This was very informative.

Sheila R.

well done. interesting and informative.

Alison C.

Very informative, well-presented course.

Baruch G.

Really interesting program - I've litigated arbitrator bias cases (court agreed with client that there was none) but never thought about it through the lens of ethics. Learned a lot!

Jessica M.

Thank you.

John B.

this was helpful and adequately broad

Peter L.

very good!

Eric C.

Solid and informative presentation.

Mark B.

good course

Andrew S.

well presented

Thomas L.

Very knowledgeable presenters; great content. I have not handled an arbitration for some time, and found the discussion on party-appointed arbitrators and Canon X arbitrators especially helpful. Great course!

Micheal D.

Very helpful information. Good on arbitrator selection and process.

Ravitta B.

I really thought it was useful and the presenters did a good job.

Brian G.

Really Good!

Max S.

Excellent program - faculty of real pros, well organized and covered subject thoroughly

Lawrence F.

both panelists were clearly qualified and the presentation was informative, well thought out.

Keith H.

This was a truly excellent course. The presenters were obviously highly knowledgeable and spoke very clearly and in detail about the very issues raised by the topic. I have served as counsel in arbitrations for many years and, more recently, as a party-appointed or sole arbitrator yet I still learned some things from this course.

Michael W.

nice treatment of both advocate's and arbitrator's ethical responsibilities

Retha M.

Very informative program from experienced presenters. Thanks.

Jenik R.

informative, well presented, logical, and practical tips. Excelllent

Eva A.

excellent presentation

Ron S.

Good program

William D.

Thorough and well organized.

Arthur G.

good program

Lawrence G.

Well done

Kenneth T G.

Excellent, comprehensive presentation with real life examples.

Julie A. B.

Kolb was impressive.

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