Arbitration is meant to be an alternate to litigation. Yet arbitration is itself the subject of much litigation over who must arbitrate, what must be arbitrated, whether and how the arbitration should proceed, and the deference courts must show to arbitration awards. This blog is intended to be a resource for litigators, in-house counsel, arbitrators and anyone else who wants to stay on top of the many thorny issues that arise under the Federal Arbitration Act. Our Bloggers →

Latest Appealing Arbitration Decisions Posts
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Minnesota Supreme Court Finds AAA Rules Give Arbitrator Power To Issue Sanctions Over $600 Million

By Liz Kramer | October 8 2014

Appealing Arbitration Decisions The Minnesota Supreme Court today unanimously confirmed an arbitration award of over $600 million in punitive sanctions. Seagate Technology, LLC v. Western Digital Corp., (Minn. Oct. 8, 2014).  Although the appellant argued the arbitrator exceeded his authority by severely sanctioning appellant for fabricating...

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Five Tips for State Courts Considering Whether to Vacate Arbitration Awards (ahem, South Dakota, Ohio)

By Liz Kramer | October 2 2014

Appealing Arbitration Decisions In an example of “What Not to Vacate,” the South Dakota Supreme Court just vacated an arbitration award because the arbitrator dared to apply a South Dakota statute allowing attorneys’ fees to the claimant. A week earlier, the Ohio Supreme Court also vacated an arbitration award for granting a remedy that the...

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Un-Vacated: Appellate Courts Save Arbitration Awards

By Liz Kramer | July 22 2014

Appealing Arbitration Decisions Two posts ago, I reviewed four recent cases in which appellate courts enforced arbitration awards that district courts had refused to enforce.  Today I review two more appellate courts coming to the rescue of arbitration, this time by confirming arbitration awards that had been vacated by lower courts. In SPX...

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3Longhorns

Arbitration Award Vacated Because Arbitrators Were Impartial

By Liz Kramer | July 15 2014

Appealing Arbitration Decisions, Arbitration Rules/Procedures Although we usually expect arbitrators to be impartial, the Supreme Court of Texas vacated an arbitration award because the chosen arbitrators were too impartial. Americo Life, Inc. v. Myer, __S.W.3d__, 2014 WL 2789429 (Tex. June 20, 2014). Because the court found the parties' agreement allowed each side to choose an...

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Dirty hands

Alabama Confirms Arbitrators’ Grant of Judgment As A Matter of Law

By Liz Kramer | June 17 2014

Appealing Arbitration Decisions Just as SCOTUS held its nose and confirmed an arbitration award it thought stunk in Sutter, the Supreme Court of Alabama has confirmed an arbitration award made after only the claimant presented evidence and grounded in a possible misunderstanding of Alabama law.  Tucker v. Ernst & Young, __ So.3d__, 2014 WL...

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Court Vacates $125M Award Due To Arbitrator’s Misleading Disclosures

By Liz Kramer | May 30 2014

Appealing Arbitration Decisions Today we take a close look at that rare creature: an opinion finding sufficient basis under the FAA to vacate an arbitration award. In Tenaska Energy Inc. v. Ponderosa Pine Energy, LLC, __S.W.3d __, 2014 WL 2139215 (Tex. May 23, 2014), the Supreme Court of Texas found an arbitrator had shown "evident partiality" due...

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Marijuana

Labor Arbitrator Authorized to Void Agreement Based on Mutual Mistake

By Liz Kramer | May 15 2014

Appealing Arbitration Decisions This week the Eighth Circuit confronted an interesting question: if a union member believed he failed a drug test, and therefore agreed his employer could terminate him if he tested positive again, can the arbitrator invalidate that agreement if the union member never actually failed the drug test? The appellate...

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Three Lessons on Appealing from Arbitrations

By Liz Kramer | April 17 2014

Appealing Arbitration Decisions, Arbitration Rules/Procedures Three decisions came out recently that offer guidance on appealing from arbitration awards.  Here are three pearls of arbitration appeal wisdom, one from each case: 1.  If you want to appeal from an arbitration, you must have a record.  Sounds basic, right?  But many parties, either due to confidence they will...

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Deference to Arbitrators Is All The Rage Among Supreme Courts This Winter

By Liz Kramer | March 16 2014

Appealing Arbitration Decisions You may have already heard that SCOTUS affirmed arbitrators' authority to interpret contractual prerequisites to arbitration last week in BG Group, PLC v. Republic of Argentina.  But that is just one of a number of recent decisions from high courts on the deference due arbitrators. In the BG Group case, the D.C....

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Wintertree

Think You Have A Chance Of Vacating Your Arbitration Award? Read this.

By Liz Kramer | February 25 2014

Appealing Arbitration Decisions, Litigation vs. Arbitration Just how hard is it to vacate an arbitration award?  The Sixth Circuit recently held that even if the arbitrator reached a result directly contrary to federal precedent, the arbitration award would be upheld.  And the Tenth Circuit found that even if the arbitrator based his award on an agreement that does not...

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