Eagle Star Ins. Co. v. Arrowood Indemnity Co., No. 13 Civ. 3410 (HB), 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135869 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 23, 2013).
A New York federal court recently granted an application by putative intervenors to unseal reinsurance arbitration information originally filed under seal in a proceeding that was settled without court order. The “confidential” arbitration information was filed in conjunction with a petition to confirm an arbitration award and a related motion to dismiss. Before the petition and motion were fully briefed, the parties settled and agreed to discontinue to the case. Nevertheless, the putative intervenors, which apparently have an arbitration with the same respondent, moved and objected to the arbitration information remaining under seal. The court analyzed the ability to address a motion on a sealing issue after the parties had settled and went through the recent law on sealing motions. Ultimately, the court granted the motion to unseal the petition and motion to dismiss (containing the arbitration information), but denied the motion to intervene as moot.
This is another case following the trend of the courts rejecting the parties’ confidentiality stipulations and orders in arbitration. What makes this case even more unusual is that parties to a different arbitration apparently wanted to get access to the arbitration information from the first arbitration for use in their separate arbitration against the same respondent. The court allowed this to happen. This case and others that reject sealing requests have ramifications for confidentiality stipulations and their viability once a party goes to court to vacate or confirm an arbitration award.