A new Delaware Chancery ruling is useful for its analysis of when a prospective member of an arbitration panel, or in this case an appraiser, should be disqualified based on a prior relationship with one of the law firms or the parties involved in the case–or a failure to disclose such prior affiliation. In rejecting the effort to disqualify a third appraiser, the court discusses cases in which an analysis of the standard for disqualification was applied either after (ex post), or before (ex ante), a decision is made by the arbitrator. AM General Holdings LLC v. The Renco Group, C.A. No. 7639-VCN, consolidated with, The Renco Group, Inc. v. MacAndrews AMG Holdings LLC, C.A. No. 7668-VCN (Del. Ch. May 29, 2015). This is the latest decision from the Delaware Court of Chancery in this long-running litigation. See, e.g., Renco Group v. MacAndrews AMG Hldgs., LLC, 2013 WL 3369318, at *2 (Del. Ch. June 19, 2013); AM Gen. Hldgs. LLC v. Renco Gp., Inc., 2014 WL 6734580, at *1 (Del. Ch. Nov. 28, 2014).
This ruling may also have application in connection with Chancery’s role in selecting arbitrators when the parties cannot agree, based on the recently adopted Delaware Rapid Arbitration Act.