Marc J. Goldstein Arbitrator & Mediator NYC

Recent Posts

April 04, 2012

Failure to Address Currency Conversion During Arbitration Haunts Award Creditor in U.S. Confirmation Case

Exchanges rates and interest rates are interesting, and important, especially in high-value cases. So one might suppose that a (nominally) Nigerian company involved in a high-stakes London-based arbitration against the Government of Nigeria, and anticipating that it might seek recognition and enforcement of the award elsewhere than in Nigeria, would have given attention during the arbitration to (i) the proper currency of the award, (ii) the convertibility of the award currency into the currency of the enforcing jurisdiction upon entry of judgment confirming the award, (iii) the relevant reference date for currency conversion and (iv) the applicability of the interest…
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March 26, 2012

The Persistent Problem of the “Truncated Tribunal” Washes Ashore in New Orleans

The persistent problem of what may be called the “party-disabled arbitrator”  and the resulting “truncated tribunal,” especially in arbitrations involving States, surfaced this month in a federal district court decision from New Orleans.  The party-disabled arbitrator begins the proceedings as the party-appointed arbitrator, but at some point the party determines that its interests are best served by attempting to obstruct the functioning of the tribunal by interfering with the ability of its party-appointee to continue to carry out his or her mandate.  (For a long historical view of the problem, see Judge Stephen Schwebel’s treatment in the 1994 Lord Goff lecture, “The…
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March 20, 2012

Dismissal of Confirmation Cases for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction: An Avoidable Problem

Each time a US court declines to entertain a petition to confirm a foreign arbitration award, there are at least two questions that we as practitioners in the field should ask: (1) Was the Court’s decision correct?; and (2) What lessons can we learn from the experiences of the parties that we can use as arbitrators or as counsel?  Last week a Federal District Court in New Orleans denied the petition of a group of American companies to obtain confirmation of an award made in consolidated London arbitration proceedings against a shipbuilding firm domiciled in China.  The Court held that…
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February 29, 2012

DC Circuit’s Iran Decision Spurns Invitation to Fashion Federal Common Law Expropriation Claims

For those whose careers in international arbitration have origins connected to the Iran-US Claims Tribunal (Tribunal) — and I am one of many — yesterday’s decision by the federal court of appeals in Washington, allowing a US company to recover damages for expropriation from the Islamic Republic of Iran under the 1955 US-Iran Treaty of Amity, as interpreted under Iranian law, resonates like a fondly-remembered ballad from the American Songbook. (McKesson Corp. v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 2012 WL 615831 (D.C. Cir. Feb. 28, 2012)). I leave it to others to consider the potential for future US litigation against Iran…
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February 20, 2012

E Mail Contracting and the “Agreement in Writing” Requirement of the New York Convention

1999 was not so very long ago. And over the last dozen years some areas of the law have necessarily moved rapidly to keep pace with developments in technology and their impact on how business is conducted.  That has not necessarily been the case in every corner of the law of international commercial arbitration.  Until a few weeks ago, counsel looking for guidance in US law on the “agreement in writing” requirement of the New York Convention could read, unhelpfully, a 1999 decision of the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Kahn Lucas Lancaster, Inc. v. Lark International, Ltd.,…
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February 08, 2012

US Second Circuit’s View of “Evident Partiality”: Out of Synch With International Practice?

A tale from the Second Circuit: Two reinsurance executives regularly sitting as arbitrators were appointed, respectively, as party-appointed arbitrator and “umpire” (presiding arbitrator) in a reinsurance arbitration. While the case was pending but before the hearing, the same individuals were appointed, again as party-appointed arbitrator and umpire, in a second arbitration that bore certain relationships to the first. There was a similar but not identical issue of contract interpretation. There was a common witness whose testimony was important in each case. And there was a business connection, essentially successorship, between Claimant in Arbitration 1 and Respondent in Arbitration 2. These…
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