Liz Kramer

Liz Kramer

Stinson Leonard Street

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

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...more

6/25/2015 - Ameriprise Financial Arbitration Arbitration Awards Dispute Resolution Federal Arbitration Act Halliburton Manifest Disregard Mediation SCOTUS Section 10

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

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...more

5/21/2015 - Appeals Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Arbitration Awards Collective Bargaining Damages DHS Elder Abuse FINRA Nursing Homes Oxford Health Reinsurance Title VII Vacated

Fifth Circuit Finds Parties Can Authorize Arbitrators By Their Conduct

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...more

5/13/2015 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Arbitration Awards Auction Broker Commissions Contract Terms Federal Arbitration Act Firearms Motion to Vacate

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

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...more

5/7/2015 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Arbitration Awards Attorney's Fees FAA Federal Arbitration Act Motion to Vacate

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

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...more

4/15/2015 - American Arbitration Association Arbitration Arbitration Awards Arbitrators Attorney's Fees Breach of Contract Insurers JAMS Vacated

Why The Arbitration Award Against Adrian Peterson Was Vacated

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...more

2/27/2015 - Adrian Peterson Arbitration Arbitration Awards CBAs NFL

Lessons From Lance Armstrong About the Finality of Arbitration Awards

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...more

2/18/2015 - Arbitration Arbitration Awards Arbitrators Forfeiture Jurisdiction Lance Armstrong Sanctions

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

“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...more

2/13/2015 - Arbitration Arbitration Awards Contract Interpretation Railroads

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

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...more

1/23/2015 - Arbitration Arbitration Awards Arbitrators Citigroup Collateral Estoppel Federal Arbitration Act Issue Preclusion Res Judicata

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

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. ...more

1/12/2015 - Appeals Arbitration Arbitration Awards Business Litigation Manifest Disregard Real Estate Brokers Real Estate Commissions

New Survey Dispels Common Myths About Arbitration

Did you know that 87% of experienced arbitrators report *always* trying to follow applicable law in rendering an award? That will come as a surprise to many critics who like to complain that arbitrators do not adhere to...more

11/21/2014 - Arbitration Arbitration Awards Arbitrators D.R. Horton v NLRB FOIA SEC

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

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,...more

10/3/2014 - Arbitration Arbitration Awards Motion to Vacate

Un-Vacated: Appellate Courts Save Arbitration Awards

In SPX Corp. v. Garda USA, Inc., __A.3d__, 2014 WL 2708631 (Del. June 16, 2014), the Delaware Court of Chancery vacated an arbitration award (under its state arbitration act) after concluding the arbitrator manifestly...more

7/23/2014 - Arbitration Arbitration Awards Collateral Estoppel Collective Bargaining Contract Interpretation Corporate Counsel

Arbitration Award Vacated Because Arbitrators Were Impartial

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....more

7/16/2014 - American Arbitration Association Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Arbitration Awards Impartiality Vacated

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

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...more

6/17/2014 - Arbitration Arbitration Awards Ernst & Young Federal Arbitration Act

What A-Rod Can Teach About A-rbitration

Arbitration is in the news. Not just a buried paragraph in the business section, but the front page. (A three-arbitrator panel issued a 34-page arbitration award finding Major League Baseball was justified in suspending...more

1/14/2014 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Arbitration Awards Federal Arbitration Act

Ninth Circuit Says Arbitration Agreements Cannot Restrict Grounds For Vacating Award

In the Hall Street decision in 2008, SCOTUS held that parties could not contractually enlarge Section 10 of the Federal Arbitration Act by agreeing that a court could vacate the arbitration award for reasons not found in that...more

12/19/2013 - Appeals Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Arbitration Awards Federal Arbitration Act Motion to Vacate

“Manifest Disregard Of The Law” Is Alive And Well And Vacating Arbitrations In Fourth Circuit

The Federal Arbitration Act sets forth only four bases for vacating arbitration awards. See 9 U.S.C. § 10 (a). After SCOTUS’s 2008 decision in Hall Street, at least half of the circuit courts have concluded that those four...more

11/7/2013 - Arbitration Arbitration Awards Contract Interpretation Federal Arbitration Act

Two Circuit Courts Demonstrate How Difficult It Is To Vacate Arbitration Awards

The Second Circuit decision has more drama, so I’ll start there. In Kolel Beth Yechiel Mechil of Tartik-Ov, Inc. v. YLL Irrevocable Trust, __ F.3d __, 2013 WL 4609100 (2d Cir. Aug. 30, 2013), the losing party in an...more

9/26/2013 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Arbitration Awards Collective Bargaining Federal Arbitration Act Issue Preclusion Unions

Arbitration Awards Cannot Be Vacated Just Because Arbitrator Excluded Evidence

In two decisions this week, courts consider whether arbitration awards can be violated based on arbitrators’ decisions to exclude evidence. ...more

8/2/2013 - Arbitration Arbitration Awards Arbitrators Evidence Exclusions Vacated

ArbitrationNation Roadmap: When Should You Choose JAMS, AAA Or CPR Rules?

Albert Einstein supposedly once said “you have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”...more

6/27/2013 - Arbitration Arbitration Awards Default Discovery Fees

SCOTUS Affirms Arbitrator’s Decision To Allow Class Arbitration In Sutter

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Sutter today, unanimously holding that as long as the arbitrator bases a decision to allow or disallow class arbitration on the text of the parties’ agreement, her “construction...more

6/11/2013 - Arbitration Awards Class Arbitration Federal Arbitration Act Oxford Health v Sutter SCOTUS Sutter

Arbitrator’s Creative IP Remedy Upheld Because It Furthered “General Aims Of Agreement”

In a dispute over whether an arbitrator has authority to grant a video game developer and publisher a perpetual license in the intellectual property as a remedy for the developer’s fraud and breaches of contract, the Fifth...more

4/26/2013 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Arbitration Awards Federal Arbitration Act Fraud Remedies Video Games

Sixth Circuit Paints Vivid Picture Of “Evident Partiality” Sufficient To Vacate Arbitration Award

One of the very few ways to show evident partiality by an arbitrator is to show the arbitrator had financial ties to a party or witness in the proceeding, another is to show the arbitrator prejudiced a party by reversing a...more

4/5/2013 - Arbitration Arbitration Awards Attorney's Fees Damages Discovery Impartiality Proof of Loss

Seventh Circuit Is Sick Of Arbitration Appeals; Threatens “High Risk Of Sanctions”

In an opinion released yesterday, the Seventh Circuit schooled appellant’s counsel first on the application of the New York Convention and Panama Convention, then on the high standard of review it applies to commercial...more

3/20/2013 - Arbitration Arbitration Awards Federal Arbitration Act Motion to Vacate Sanctions

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