District Court of Maryland Denies Motion to Dismiss Petition to Vacate Arbitration Award

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The petitioner filed a complaint seeking to vacate an arbitration award, and the respondents moved to dismiss. Despite “the deferential standard of review” given to arbitration awards and the petitioner’s “significantly challenging road ahead,” the district court denied the respondents’ motion.

First, the court determined that the motion to vacate was timely, as the petitioner had 90 days (until January 3, 2020) to move to vacate the arbitration award under both the Federal Arbitration Act and Missouri law, which applied to the parties’ dispute.

Second, the court determined that service of the motion to vacate was timely under the FAA, as the petitioner delivered notice of its motion to vacate physically and electronically by the January 3 deadline, despite the fact that a signed summons was not included until the motion to vacate was again hand-delivered – at the request of respondents’ counsel – three days later. “Though the January 6, 2020 deadline was technically outside of the FAA’s limitations period, the Court finds that Respondents had adequate notice of this action as of January 3, 2020.”

Third, the court determined that the petitioner’s payment of the award within 30 days of the arbitration decision, as required by FINRA, did not foreclose it from pursuing its motion to vacate the award.

Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. v. Stern, No. 1:20-cv-00005 (D. Md. Mar. 31, 2020).

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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