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Professional and Ethical Considerations for Serving as Arbitrator

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Date Published

June 21, 2018


Washington State Association for Justice




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Starting September 1, 2018, a new law goes into effect with regard to Mandatory Arbitration. “Mandatory Arbitration” will now be called “Civil Arbitration.” The new law requires arbitrators to complete 3 hours of training on the professional and ethical considerations for serving as arbitrator. If you don’t get this 3 hour training, you risk being removed from all civil arbitration panels. The new law provides that counties can waive this requirement for arbitrators who have served at least 5 times in the past – but no county has yet elected this option. Thus, completing the 3 hour training is the only way to ensure that you will remain on the arbitration panels. Participation on this panels is crucial to making sure that qualified and experienced lawyers are being selected as arbitrator.

To help our members qualify to remain on arbitration panels, WSAJ is offering a 4-part series of webinar CLEs on the professional and ethical considerations for serving as arbitrator. You should sign up for at least 2 of the 4 sessions to achieve the required 3 hours. Please sign up today to ensure compliance and qualification to serve as an arbitrator.

Speakers will address a variety of topics including: impartiality and neutrality, professional communication with counsel, whether or not to write opinion letters supporting awards, how to conduct a professional hearing, special considerations for interacting with parties, dealing with motions to recuse, how to handle comparative fault and offsets and subrogation interests, dealing with potential conflicts of interest, etc.

Statutory references:
RCW 7.06.040(2)(a): A person may not serve as an arbitrator unless the person has completed a minimum of three credits of Washington state bar association approved continuing legal education credits on the professional and ethical considerations for serving as an arbitrator. A person serving as arbitrator must file a declaration or affidavit stating or certifying to the appointing court that the person is in compliance with this section.

RCW 7.06.040(2)(b): The superior court judge or judges in any county may choose to waive the requirements of this subsection (2) for arbitrators who have acted as an arbitrator five or more times previously.

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Samuel J. Elder, Jr.
Law Office of Sam Elder PLLC

Samuel J. Elder, Jr. graduated from Linfield College (summa cum laude) in 1991. He received a Juris Doctorate from University... Read More

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Program Titles and Supporting Materials

This program contains the following components:

Professional and Ethical Considerations for Serving as Arbitrator - Video
Professional and Ethical Considerations for Serving as Arbitrator - Paper
Professional and Ethical Considerations for Serving as Arbitrator Guide and Exhibits
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If applicable, you may obtain credit in multiple jurisdictions simultaneously for this program (see pending/approved list below). If electing credit for this program, registrants in jurisdictions not listed below will receive a Certificate of Completion that may or may not meet credit requirements in other jurisdictions. Where applicable, credit will be only awarded to a paid registrant completing all the requirements of the program as determined by the selected accreditation authority.

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How to Attend

Join the self-paced program from your office, home, or hotel room using a computer and high speed internet connection. You may start and stop the program at your convenience, continue where you left off, and review supporting materials as often as you like. Please note: Internet Explorer is no longer a supported browser. We recommend using Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Safari for best results.

Technical Requirements
You may access this course on a computer or mobile device with high speed internet (iPhones require iOS 10 or higher). Recommended browsers are Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

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