Ninth Circuit Refuses to Vacate $6M Arbitration Award


Lagstein v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London

(9th Cir. (Nev.) June 10, 2010)


The Ninth Circuit reversed a district court’s vacatur of an arbitration award totaling more than $6 million, finding that vacatur was unwarranted under § 10(a) of the Federal Arbitration Act. That section permits a court to vacate an arbitration award only where the award was procured by corruption or fraud, where there was evident partiality in the arbitrators, where the arbitrators were guilty of misconduct which prejudiced the rights

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Supreme Court Asks for Solicitor General’s Opinion in Insurance Arbitration Case

Lousiana Safety Ass’n
of Timbermen v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London

(U.S. May 17,

The Supreme Court recently invited the Solicitor General to
file a brief expressing the views of the United States in Louisiana Safety Ass’n v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London,
a case centering on whether the Federal Arbitration Act preempts the
McCarran-Ferguson Act, which grants states the authority to regulate insurance.
In Louisiana Safety,
the Fifth Circuit held that the McCarran-Ferguson Act does not authorize state
law to

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A Detailed Examination of the Supreme Court’s Decision in Stolt-Nielsen v. Animalfeeds, Inc. Which Limited the Ability of An Arbitrator to Impose Class Arbitration

Stolt-Nielsen S.
A. v. Animalfeeds Int'l Corp.
(U.S. S.C. April
27, 2010)

A class of purchasers of parcel
tanker transportation services sought arbitration in their antitrust suit
against a shipper for price fixing. 
Although the charters contained an arbitration agreement, the agreement
was silent as to whether a class arbitration was permitted.  The parties agreed to submit the question
whether their arbitration agreement allowed for class arbitration to a panel of
arbitrators, who would  be bound by the class rules developed by

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Stolt-Nielsen v. Animalfeed Int'l Corp. (U.S. Supreme Court, April 27, 2010)

In a 5-3 decision, the U.S Supreme Court reversed the Second Circuit ruling that an arbitrator had an inherent right, pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act, to force parties to class arbitration even if they did not agreed to such an authorization. In analyzing the FAA, the majority concluded that  "a party may not be compelled … to submit to class arbitration unless there is a contractual basis for concluding that the party agreed …

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District Court Finds that Arbitration Clause is Enforceable and Valid

Franz v. Allegheny Investments, Ltd. (N.D. Ohio February 11, 2010)

A former employee sought brought suit against his former employer for the employer's alleged failure to promptly notify the relevant insurance carrier and provide defense coverage to the employee for claims made against him and the employer in a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitration.  As a result of employer's failures, the employee ultimately had to retain counsel to defend him in the arbitration.  At the underlying arbitration, the employer successfully defended the claim, but the former employee was found liable.


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Arbitration Clause In Insurance Contract Enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act

Duke University v. National Union Fire Ins. Co.

M.D. N.C., February 4, 2010


This action involves a dispute by plaintiff policyholder against defendant insurer alleging breach of an insurance policy by the insurer’s failure to advance and/or pay all of the policyholder’s defense costs.  Defendant insurer then instituted a third-party action against United Educators, claiming that it was entitled to contribution, subrogation and declaratory relief.


The policy between the policyholder and third party defendant included an arbitration agreement and third party

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Second Circuit Affirms Enforceability Of Arbitration Agreement In Employment Discrimination Case

Ragone v. Atlantic Video, ESPN et. al.

(United States Court of Appeal, Second Circuit, February 17, 2010)


Plaintiff-appellant appealed from an order of the district court which granted the motions of Atlantic Video and ESPN dismissing the complaint and compelling arbitration in a Title VII employment discrimination and sexual harassment action.  In affirming the trial court decision, the court of appeals upheld the enforceability of the arbitration agreement against claims that it is was both procedurally and substantively unconscionable. The court also properly

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Court Awards Attorneys’ Fees Arising from Enforcement of Arbitration Award

Gentle Wace Shipping S.A. v. Transfield Shipping Inc.

(S.D.N.Y. Feb. 16, 2010)


A federal judge has awarded attorneys’ fees to a party attempting to enforce a previously-determined arbitration award. In Gentle Wave, a panel of two members of the London Maritime Arbitrators Association issued an arbitration award in favor of petitioner Gentle Wave and against respondent Transfield. Transfield failed to pay the award, forcing Gentle Wave to commence an action to confirm the award, enter judgment, and award attorneys’ fees.


The court

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Confidentiality Agreement Executed as Part of Arbitration Not Subject to Arbitration

Trustmark Insurance Company v. John Hancock Life Insurance Company
(N.D.Ill. January 21, 2010)
The parties to a reinsurance contract disagreed regarding whether certain retrocessional business was part of the reinsurance contracts.  As a result, they entered into arbitration.  As part of the arbitration, the parties entered into a Confidentiality Agreement under which documents and the ultimate findings were subject to confidentiality.  The arbitrators also signed the Confidentiality Agreement.

After that arbitration, another dispute arose and the parties again turned to arbitration.  One of
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Arbitration Compelled Regarding GAP Coverage

Sawyers v. Herrin-Gear Chevrolet Co., Inc.

(Miss., January 7, 2010)


The Mississippi Supreme Court held that it has jurisdiction to consider the merits of an interlocutory appeal regarding whether a claim arising from GAP coverage should be arbitrated.  Plaintiff filed a complaint alleging fraud, breach of contract and bad faith, against an auto dealer and an insurance company who provided “GAP Asset Protection Deficiency Waiver Addendum.”   The defendants made a motion to compel arbitration, which was granted by the trial court.  Plaintiff then filed

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