Recent Posts

January 31, 2012

Second Circuit Explains Decision to Vacate Chevron’s Global Anti-Enforcement-of-Judgment Injunction

Last year Chevron, as judgment debtor for a $17.2 billion environmental damages judgment issued by an Ecuador court, convinced a US district judge in New York to issue a global anti-enforcement injunction preventing the Ecuadorean parties from seeking enforcement of that judgment anywhere.  Late last year the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order vacating that injunction, but its written opinion, explaining why the injunction was improper, was not issued until now.   As you will see http://www.ca2.uscourts.gov/decisions/isysquery/83c7e33b-75ca-4735-acec-95593be09f03/2/doc/11-1150_op.pdf , the Court states that New York’s statute providing for recognition of foreign country money judgments cannot be invoked affirmatively…
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January 25, 2012

An Exceptional, and Proper, Judical Anti-Arbitration Injunction

Faithful readers of Arbitration Commentaries will be familiar with several principles that are repeated in the cases discussed in this space.   One, mentioned in last week’s post concerning the DC Circuit’s vacatur of a investment arbitration award, is that US courts generally find “clear and unmistakable evidence” of an agreement to arbitrate “arbitrability” issues when the parties select rules, like the UNCITRAL Rules, that confer power on arbitrators to decide objections to their jurisdiction.  Another principle, mentioned for example in a post in November 2011 concerning a Second Circuit decision involving American Express, is that the Federal Arbitration Act does not…
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January 18, 2012

US Appellate Review of a BIT Award: Unmistakably Unclear

In a commentary appearing in this space a few months ago, after the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision in Government of Mexico v. Cargill, I suggested that American courts might decide the scope of judicial review of an investment treaty tribunal’s determination of its own jurisdiction by concluding that the parties’ agreement to resolve disputes by arbitration under the UNCITRAL Rules constitutes “clear and unmistakable evidence” of the treaty parties’ intent to have arbitrators decide jurisdiction issues with the same latitude that they decide the merits.  In a decision yesterday, the federal court of appeals in Washington D.C. appeared to…
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January 15, 2012

An Appellate Rescue for the New York Convention

The US Court of Appeals in Washington, DC holds that the New York Convention supplies the exclusive grounds for a federal district court to adjourn an award confirmation proceeding, and that such grounds do not include a pending proceeding to nullify the award against a foreign State, in its courts, when that State was not the place of arbitration. Not new news you say — quite rightly. But yesterday’s decision by the DC Circuit (Belize Social Development Ltd. v. Government of Belize, 2012 WL 104462 (D.C. Cir. Jan. 13, 2012), is significant for at least two reasons. First, the federal…
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January 03, 2012

What Role for the Courts in Consolidating Related Arbitrations?

Under US arbitration law the question of whether multiple arbitration claims may proceed on a consolidated (or class) basis may well be a question for determination by the arbitral tribunal in the first instance. A recent decision from the US Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, refusing to rule on the consolidation issue, and thus leaving that question to the arbitral tribunal, reminds us that the procedural posture in which the question is presented will often determine where the power to decide will reside. In Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Inc. v. BCS Insurance Co., 2011 WL 6382203 (7th Cir….
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December 22, 2011

What Basis for Judicial Power Over Counsel Ethics in Arbitration ?

The point of departure for today’s discussion is a pair of decisions by a respected federal district judge in New York, one granting a motion to disqualify counsel in a pending arbitration and the other denying reconsideration of the first decision. The misconduct involved was rather troubling: in a reinsurance arbitration apparently under AAA Commercial and ARIAS Rules, a party-appointed arbitrator resigned in ostensible protest of bias on the part of the other party-appointed, and then proceeded to share covertly with his appointing party’s counsel nearly 200 emails among members of the Tribunal, with the intent of helping that party…
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