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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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....

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Why The Arbitration Award Against Adrian Peterson Was Vacated

By Liz Kramer | February 26 2015

Appealing Arbitration Decisions A federal judge in Minnesota today vacated the arbitration award that confirmed the NFL's discipline of Adrian Peterson.  You can read the decision here.  The judge found two separate bases for vacating the award: 1) the award failed to "draw its essence" from the parties' Collective Bargaining Agreement; and 2)...

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Lessons From Lance Armstrong About the Finality of Arbitration Awards

By Liz Kramer | February 18 2015

Appealing Arbitration Decisions, Arbitration Rules/Procedures On February 4, an arbitration panel ordered Lance Armstrong to pay $10 million to his former promotions company, SCA, as a result of his “unparalleled pageant of international perjury, fraud and conspiracy” that covered up his use of performance-enhancing drugs.  (Read the NYT story about it here.)  What is...

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Fifth Circuit Un-Vacates Arbitration Award, Offering Guidance to District Courts

By Liz Kramer | February 12 2015

Appealing Arbitration Decisions "When an arbitration goes an opponent's way on the basis of questionable contract interpretation, parties often seek refuge in [Section] 10(a)(4).  But the Supreme Court has made clear that district courts' review of arbitrators' awards under [that Section] is limited to the 'sole question... of whether the...

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Even in the Ninth Circuit, Courts Should Not Intervene Mid-Arbitration

By Liz Kramer | January 30 2015

Appealing Arbitration Decisions It is generally accepted that courts may only engage in the very front and very back end of an arbitration. At the outset, courts may determine whether the parties agreed to arbitrate the dispute, and at the end, courts may determine if the arbitration met the basic fairness requirements of the Federal Arbitration...

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Who Decides Whether New Claims Are Precluded By Old Arbitration? An Arbitrator, Says 2d Circuit

By Liz Kramer | January 22 2015

Appealing Arbitration Decisions, Litigation vs. Arbitration We all know that the doctrines of issue preclusion (collateral estoppel) and claim preclusion (res judicata) apply with equal force to both arbitration awards and court orders.  But, if your adversary brings new claims that you believe have already been determined in arbitration, where do you go to shut down those...

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Home For Sale Sign in Front of New House.

Second Circuit Un-Vacates Arbitration Award, Finding No Manifest Disregard

By Liz Kramer | January 9 2015

Appealing Arbitration Decisions The Second Circuit reversed a district court's vacatur of an arbitration award this week, finding that the arbitration panel did not manifestly disregard the law when it refused the respondent's reading of a state statute.  Sotheby's Int'l Realty, Inc. v. Relocation Group, LLC, 2015 WL 64265 (2d Cir. Jan. 6,...

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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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