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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January Arbitration Update: Effective Vindication, Class Arbitration, and FAA Preemption

By Liz Kramer | January 29 2016

Appealing Arbitration Decisions, Arbitration Rules/Procedures, Class Arbitration, Waiver of Right to Arbitrate Lots of interesting arbitration law has been made already in 2016, so here is a roundup from the first four weeks of the year. As a teaser, courts have breathed life into the effective vindication doctrine, found arbitrators cannot determine the availability of class actions, and found state laws not preempted. ...

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3 Year-End Arbitration Lessons From Appellate Courts

By Liz Kramer | December 21 2015

Appealing Arbitration Decisions, Litigation vs. Arbitration, Waiver of Right to Arbitrate Before I can sum up 2015 in arbitration (next post!), I need to report on some new cases coming out of the federal and state appellate courts in recent weeks.  Two are just good reminders of basic arbitration law, but the third addresses an interesting question of double recovery. Our first "reminder" case comes...

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Want To Vacate Arbitration Award For Bias? Hawaii Is Here To Help.

By Liz Kramer | December 6 2015

Appealing Arbitration Decisions The Supreme Court of Hawaii ruled recently that if a neutral arbitrator fails to meet disclosure requirements, it constitutes "evident partiality" as a matter of law, and requires the vacatur of the arbitrator's award.  Furthermore, Hawaii interpreted its disclosure requirements broadly, and in this case found an...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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