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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Final Means Final: No Reconsideration in Arbitration

By Liz Kramer | November 20 2015

Appealing Arbitration Decisions, Arbitration Rules/Procedures Recent decisions from the 3d and 11th Circuits drive home this point: an arbitration award is final and should not be revisited. In Robinson v. Littlefield, 2015 WL 5520017 (3d Cir. Sept. 17, 2015), the parties arbitrated their dispute over the quality of a new RV.  The arbitrator ruled for the RV buyers, awarding...



Nevada Says Rule 68’s Offer of Judgment Applies In Arbitration

By Liz Kramer | November 16 2015

Appealing Arbitration Decisions, Arbitration Rules/Procedures Today's post is a good one for all those defendants/ respondents who are convinced that they have a slam-dunk case and want to recover their attorneys' fees.  Because while these particular respondents were not successful, they paved a path that may lead others to collect attorneys' fees after defeating claims in...



Musings on Tom Brady and Arbitrator Bias

By Liz Kramer | September 13 2015

Appealing Arbitration Decisions Again this year, a famous athlete put the spotlight on the process of arbitration.  Earlier this month, Tom Brady succeeded in convincing a federal judge to vacate the arbitration award against Brady.  (The four-game "deflategate" suspension -- a pdf of the decision is available through the link.) The decision...



Unvacated: 11th Circuit Finds Repeat Arbitrator Not Biased

By Liz Kramer | August 28 2015

Appealing Arbitration Decisions The Eleventh Circuit has a lesson for future litigants: the presence of a repeat player is not enough to show the evident partiality needed to vacate an arbitration award under the Federal Arbitration Act. In  Johnson v. Directory Assistants, Inc., __ F.3d __, 2015 WL 4939578 (11th Cir. Aug. 20, 2015), an...



Circuit Split Persists Regarding Whether Arbitrator’s “Manifest Disregard” Of Law Can Vacate Arbitration Award

By Liz Kramer | June 25 2015

Appealing Arbitration Decisions Three years ago, this blog catalogued where all the federal circuits stood on the issue of whether an arbitration award that "manifestly disregarded the law" could be vacated under the Federal Arbitration Act, as that is not one of the four bases for vacatur listed in Section 10.  There was a circuit split then, and...


Glorious spring

Spring Vacations: Which arguments are winning on appeals from arbitration so far in 2015?

By Liz Kramer | May 21 2015

Appealing Arbitration Decisions Today I present a collection of recent state and federal appellate court decisions that vacate or un-vacate arbitration awards. The seven opinions below emphasize how difficult it is to prove that an arbitrator exceeded his or her power and suggest that the surest way to vacate an arbitration award is still by...


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Fifth Circuit Finds Parties Can Authorize Arbitrators By Their Conduct

By Liz Kramer | May 12 2015

Appealing Arbitration Decisions, Litigation vs. Arbitration, Scope of Arbitration Agreement The Fifth Circuit un-vacated an arbitration award last week, holding the district court had wrongly concluded that the court was the proper decision-maker on contract formation.  Although courts are presumptively authorized to decide whether an arbitration agreement exists, the Fifth Circuit found the parties...



When Can A Party Recover Attorneys’ Fees Incurred Confirming An Arbitration Award?

By Liz Kramer | May 7 2015

Appealing Arbitration Decisions, Litigation vs. Arbitration, Scope of Arbitration Agreement If you won your arbitration, it is vexing to have to spend many thousands more in attorneys' fees opposing a motion to vacate the arbitration award.  (That is especially true if you signed up for arbitration thinking it was faster and avoided appeals.)  But, can you ask the court to award you the attorneys' fees...


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5th Circuit Vacates Arbitration Award Conducted By Wrong Arbitrator Under Wrong Rules

By Liz Kramer | April 14 2015

Appealing Arbitration Decisions, Arbitration Rules/Procedures Let's say your arbitration agreement calls for arbitration administered by JAMS under JAMS rules, but the arbitrator is independent and applies AAA rules, over one party's objection.  A new decision from the Fifth Circuit says that is enough to vacate the resulting award. In Poolre Insurance Corp. v....


Liberty Bell, Philadelphia, PA

Third Circuit Finds Pennsylvania Statute Preempted by FAA

By Liz Kramer | March 5 2015

Appealing Arbitration Decisions The Third Circuit recently found that the Federal Arbitration Act preempts a Pennsylvania statute that restricts corporate plaintiffs in state and federal court in Pennsylvania to those companies that are registered to do business in Pennsylvania.  Generational Equity, LLC v. Schomaker, 2015 WL 708481 (3d Cir. Feb....