The U.S. Supreme Court recently denied a reinsurer's request to hear a dispute that concerned, among other things, whether a cedent's party-appointed arbitrator should be disqualified from serving in a subsequent arbitration involving related parties and issues.

A detailed discussion of the case -- Trustmark Ins. Co. v. John Hancock Life Ins. Co. -- can be found here. On January 31, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit unanimously reversed a District Court’s ruling and held that a party-appointed arbitrator’s involvement in an earlier arbitration between the same parties did not disqualify him under the reinsurance agreements at issue, or render him incapable of serving in the subsequent arbitration. The reinsurer sought a rehearing by the Seventh Circuit, en banc, which was denied. It then filed a write of certiorari with the Supreme Court seeking a review of the decision.

On May 16, the Supreme Court declined to hear the case, without comment.