Appellate Courts Address Jurisdiction To Hear Disputes Concerning Arbitration


Establishing that a federal court has jurisdiction to hear an arbitration dispute is not always easy. The Fourth Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of an action seeking to vacate an arbitration award based upon lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Plaintiff attempted to show that the nexus between her claims and “commerce” fell within the realm of the FAA, and therefore there was a federal question under §1331. However, she failed to raise that argument below, so it was not properly before the court of appeal, and the Court found it to be unavailing in any event. Ball v. Stylecraft Homes, LLC, No. 13-1946 (4th Cir. Mar. 26, 2014)

The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the denial of a motion to remand for lack of jurisdiction. The issue was whether diversity jurisdiction was defeated because the action was a direct action against an insurer, defeating diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §1332(c). The Court held that it was not a direct action, and affirmed the district court’s order compelling arbitration. Kong v. Allied Professional Insurance Company, No. 13-12305 (11th Cir. May 9, 2014)


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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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