Recent Posts

August 15, 2011

More Thoughts on Confirmation and Vacatur of Partial Final Awards: Uncertainty in Second Circuit Doctrine

Institutional rules governing international commercial arbitration permit (and thereby to some extent encourage) arbitrators to render partial final awards when appropriate. And those rules, institutional guidelines, and published commentaries suggest or recommend (i) the structuring of complex arbitral proceedings by issue, and (ii) the early determination of some key issues whose resolution might advance the prospects of settlement on remaining contentious issues. Parties might assume that if an arbitral tribunal issues its final determination of a particular issue in the form of an award, in a fashion that complies with applicable arbitral rules about the form and content of awards,…
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August 08, 2011

Confirmation and Vacatur of Partial Awards on Jurisdiction: Lessons from a Fifth Circuit Case

The rights and obligations of non-signatories to the arbitration clause has been a frequent topic in Arbitration Commentaries since its inception. In American arbitration law, the subject is a difficult one for several reasons. First¸ important distinctions exist in the law, depending on whether the non-signatory seeks to compel arbitration with a signatory or is on the receiving end of a demand for arbitration from a signatory.  Those distinctions can become blurred, even without the assistance of advocates who have an interest in a particular result.  Second, the non-signatories issue is often entangled with the American version of the compétence-compétence…
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July 28, 2011

US Court Orders Hague Evidence Requests to PRC Banks Having US Branches

Dear Readers: Issues raised by the physical presence of Chinese companies in the U.S. are increasingly prominent in U.S. civil litigation. The jurisprudence is important to a number of consituencies, including international arbitrators who, when they sit in New York, may be asked to issue subpoenas under the Federal Arbitration Act to be served at purported US locations of Chinese companies. A particularly thorough opinion of a US Magistrate Judge in New York, concerning subpoenas served upon non-party Chinese banks in a trademark litigation, is discussed today in the Legal Developments section of my general website. www.lexmarc.us.  A note: If you do…
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July 27, 2011

Provisional Relief When Arbitrability is Contested: Useful Common Law Development from the Fifth Circuit

Arbitration lawyers might justifiably have thought, before reading last week’s decision from the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, that any uncertainty about the legal basis for a US court to issue an injunction in regard to a potentially arbitrable dispute had been favorably resolved many years ago. But in finding that a legal basis for such relief does exist even if the arbitrability of the dispute remains undecided and is sub judice at the time of the injunction order, the Fifth Circuit reminds us that the Federal Arbitration Act is a framework not a code, and that arbitration law…
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July 22, 2011

Seventh Circuit Rules in Favor of Corporate Liability Under The Alien Tort Statute

Dear Readers: On my general website you will find a short case comment on the Seventh Circuit’s recent decision, written by Judge Richard Posner, holding that corporations may be civilly liable for damages under the Alien Tort Statute.  The decision comes only a few days after the D.C. Circuit so held, in disagreement with the Second Circuit panel majority position in the Kiobel case last year.   Your attention to these comments is invited, under the Legal Developments column on my website, www.lexmarc.us. Best wishes. Marc Goldstein

July 20, 2011

Coherence and Consistency in US Award Vacatur Jurisprudence?

With the decline and perhaps eventual demise of “manifest disregard of the law” after Hall Street Associates v. Mattel, Inc., more attention has been devoted by counsel and the courts to what it means for an arbitrator to “exceed [her] powers” (FAA Section 10 (a) (4)) such that vacatur is warranted of an award made at a place of arbitration in the United States. In the Stolt-Nielsen case, the Supreme Court held that an arbitrator exceeded powers in ordering class arbitration when the parties had made no agreement about class arbitration. That conclusion was reached for essentially two reasons. First,…
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