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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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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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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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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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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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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