Recent Posts

July 01, 2014

Brush Up Your Bazzle

If you don’t remember Bazzle, you had best put it on the beach-and-boat-reading list. Come September, you will need to know it well for survival at every luncheon and cocktail reception on the arbitration circuit. Why? Because the Next Cool Thing in US arbitration law, now that BG Group v Argentina is just . . . So Last Term, is the question whether interpretation of the arbitration agreement to determine if it permits class arbitration presents a “gateway” issue of (or akin to) “arbitrability” that a court not an arbitrator should, presumptively and thus quite often,  decide. In Bazzle (Green…
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June 25, 2014

Some Thoughts On Improving the Arbitrator Vetting Process

All of you who have not heard or read about publication of commercial arbitration awards in the last six months, please raise your hands. …. I see just one or two hands, all the way in the back of the classroom.  Yes, this seems to be a hot topic. An important element of the multi-faceted conversation about publication of awards (and other arbitral decisions) concerns whether the arbitrator(s) who authored the awards should be identified in the publication. Let’s call that Identity Transparency.  An argument in favor of Identity Transparency is that parties will make more intelligent selections of arbitrators,…
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May 02, 2014

US Award Enforcement Against Alter Egos of the Award Debtor: Some Clarity Emerges

With an important assist from a senior US District Judge in New York of high distinction and regard, US law concerning recognition and enforcement of foreign awards under the New York Convention against non-parties to the award has taken a constructive step forward. In CBF Industria de Gusa S/A v. AMCI Holdings, Inc. , 2014 WL 1388519 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 9, 2014), the Court held that where the award has yet to be recognized in any jurisdiction, and confirmation against the award debtor (as named in the award) is not being sought here, the Court will ordinarily lack subject matter jurisdiction…
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May 02, 2014

A Word (and a Case) on US Enforcement of Foreign Award-Confirmation Judgments

Dear foreign readers, do not try the US enforcement strategy that I am about to describe. This is only a lesson on the vagaries of subject matter jurisdiction in the courts of the United States. But in a month bereft of blockbuster decisions on US arbitration law something obscure yet fundamental provides a nice change of pace. You, the estimable advocate, having won a handsome LCIA award for your Mauritius client against an Emirati company and its Pakistani shareholder, apply for recognition of the award in the Commercial Court in London and, perhaps at some considerable expense, secure a judgment…
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March 31, 2014

What Makes An Award An Award?: Thoughts About Enforcement of the Decisions of Experts and Appraisers

A new decision from the US District Court in New York revisits a question that crops up sporadically: Is an agreement for binding expert determination of a discrete non-legal issue an agreement to arbitrate, such that the expert’s determination may be treated as an award? Answering yes, the Court in Seed Holdings Inc. v. Jiffy Intern. AS, 2014 WL 1141717 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 21, 2014), held that the expert’s decision pursuant to an agreement for binding resolution of a post-closing price adjustment by an independent accountant in a cross-border sale of assets agreement (Canada-US) fell under the New York Convention, with…
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February 23, 2014

US (Non-) Enforcement of Annulled Foreign Awards: Shall We Welcome A Dash of French Eccentricity?

It seems that we never tire of thinking, and writing, about “Chromalloy“. That famous 1996 case from a federal district court in Washington D.C. (939 F. Supp. 907) has given its name, at least for the US arbitration community, to a body of case law and legal theory concerning the circumstances in which a court in one country might recognize and enforce, under the New York Convention and its own arbitration law, a foreign arbitration award that has been set aside by a competent court at the seat of the arbitration or (more rarely) by the competent court of a…
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