Marc J. Goldstein Arbitrator & Mediator NYC

Recent Posts

June 29, 2012

US Trial Judges Shine in Recent Convention Cases

It is occasionally the pleasant duty of Arbitration Commentaries to inform its readers that American trial judges do understand the New York Convention and Chapter 2 of the Federal Arbitration Act (“Convention Act”), and that they often apply the Convention and the Convention Act sensibly to advance international arbitration and the predictability and stability of American law that supports it. This post is such an occasion. Within the past two weeks: (1) A federal district judge in New York properly rejected the attempt of a party to an ongoing international maritime arbitration to get judicial relief from the arbitral tribunal’s…
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June 21, 2012

US Courts’ Subject Matter Jurisdiction for Interim Measure in Convention Cases Still in Doubt

Last week a respected federal district judge in New York denied a motion for a preliminary injunction in aid of arbitration. The motion had been made by the Claimant in a pending ICC arbitration seated in New York, in which the tribunal is now fully-constituted although it may not have been at the time the motion was filed. More interesting for the arbitration bar than the outcome was an issue mentioned but not resolved in the Court’s decision: Does Chapter Two of the FAA confer subject matter jurisdiction on the Court when the only relief sought is a provisional remedy…
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May 31, 2012

Amex Class Arbitration Case Takes Stride Toward Supreme Court Review

If there were ever an arbitration case ripening on the US Supreme Court’s certiorari vine for full judicial review, surely it is In re American Express Merchants Litigation, 667 F.3d 206 (2d Cir. Feb. 1, 2012), suggestion for rehearing en banc denied, 2012 WL 1918412 (2d Cir. May 29, 2012). At issue is the validity of a class action waiver in the arbitration clause of Amex’s standard agreement with participating merchants. The basis for challenge to the validity of the waiver is that it is said to effectively prohibit the pursuit of federal statutory antitrust claims by the merchants against…
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May 28, 2012

Lack of Personal Jurisdiction Under the US Constitution in Award Confirmation Cases: Is It Time for a New Approach?

Access to US courts to enforce foreign arbitration awards covered by the New York Convention against State-owned companies is increasingly fraught with uncertainty rooted in American procedural doctrine. This difficulty was on display in the Second Circuit’s forum non conveniens decision in December 2011, dismissing an award confirmation action against the Government of Peru. The issue arose again last week, when the federal court of appeals in Washington, D.C., affirmed the dismissal, for lack of personal jurisdiction, of an award confirmation case under the New York Convention against a company wholly-owned by the Government of Liberia. (GSS Group, Ltd. v….
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May 24, 2012

Fifth Circuit Takes Strong Stance Against Class Arbitration Based on Stolt-Nielsen

A decision of the Fifth Circuit US Court of Appeals last week rejected an arbitrator’s award construing an arbitration clause as permitting class arbitration. (Reed v.  Florida Metropolitan University, Inc., 2012 WL 1759298 (5th Cir. May 18, 2012). The Court held that the arbitrator exceeded his powers by finding class arbitration permissible under the clause. The decision expressly parts company with recent decisions of federal appellate panels in the Second and Third Circuit that sustained arbitrators’ clause construction awards in favor of class arbitration. Thus in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decisions in the Stolt-Nielsen, Concepcion, and Rent-a-Center cases,…
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May 11, 2012

Staying Enforcement of Convention Awards: A Narrow Exception Remains So

We do not often hear about staying enforcement of an award that is subject to recognition and enforcement under the New York Convention – except of course in the scenario where a vacatur action is pending in a court at the seat of the arbitration. After all, the policy of the Convention and the FAA is to expedite recognition and enforcement by defining narrowly the grounds for opposition, and streamlining the proceedings in which those grounds are to be raised and considered. The Convention of course provides no general authority for courts to stay confirmation proceedings. Article VI of the…
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