Ethics Committee Formal Opinion #1992‑93/5
Attorneys as “Partisan” Arbitrators: Insurer’s Counsel Serving on Arbitration Panel in Unrelated Claim Involving Insurer
January 19, 1993
A lawyer must not sit as a member of an arbitration panel while representing one of the parties (e.g. insurance company) to the arbitration in an unrelated matter. (Rule 1.12)
A lawyer may, however, sit as a member of an arbitration panel while someone in that lawyer’s firm represents one of the parties to the arbitration in an unrelated matter, since such disqualification is not imputed to the lawyer/arbitrator. (Rule 1.10(a))
May an attorney, who represents an insurer in uninsured motorist liability cases, accept appointment by that insurer to a panel of arbitrators to hear an uninsured motorist case in which the insurer is a party, where the attorney is not representing the insurer in the case being arbitrated?