Arbitration

Manifest Disregard of Contract Termination Clause: Arbitration Award Vacated

Arbitration awards are difficult to overturn, but the Rhode Island Supreme Court has ruled, in a 3-2 split decision, that an arbitrator manifestly disregarded the parties’ contract in his decision, and has vacated that award. The underlying project… Read More
Read More

Two Instances Where One Party Could Not Compel a Non-Party to Arbitrate

The Maryland Court of Special Appeal has recently issued decisions in two separate matters, reaching similar conclusions on very different sets of facts. The outcomes were (1) a related non-party could not be compelled to arbitrate, nor (2) could a p… Read More
Read More

Undocumented Oral Agreement Came Within Scope of Written Arbitration Clause

A hauling company submitted bids for removal of three different types of construction debris, and the parties agreed on and signed a contract covering two of those categories. Later, by oral agreement the third category initially bid on was added at… Read More
Read More

State Supremacy over the Federal Arbitration Act?

Okay, so the New Hampshire Supreme Court did not actually say its state arbitration law trumped the federal act. But the NH court did say that its state courts would not be obligated to follow certain terms of the Federal Arbitration Act. Interpretin… Read More
Read More

Divided Court Strikes Arbitration Clause based on Unconscionable Remedies

Concluding that a dispute clause left homeowners with no effective remedy, a divided South Carolina Supreme Court has stricken an arbitration clause in a home construction contract. The dissent, citing recent US Supreme Court decisions, argued that t… Read More
Read More

It’s Not About Football, But . . . Arbitrator’s Decision Vacated, then Upheld, on Issue Not in Original Reference

Football fans on either side of Deflategate will see the corollaries here. Over a span of years, a drywall company made several attempts to withdraw from the contractors’ association that bargains with particular unions. The company ended up in arb… Read More
Read More

Agreement to Arbitrate May Not Require a Written Contract

From two different courts in two different states on two very different claims come the same concept: an agreement to arbitrate may be binding even without a signed contract. One comes via an unsigned law firm partnership agreement, and the other via… Read More
Read More

Legality of contract with arbitration clause is to be determined by court and not by arbitrator

One party argued throughout an arbitration proceeding that the agreement containing the arbitration clause was illegal and void as against public policy. The other side had obtained an order compelling arbitration, and then prevailed in front of the… Read More
Read More

Reference to AAA Construction Industry Rules means that parties agreed to have arbitrator determine arbitrability

A Florida Court of Appeal has concluded that an arbitration clause incorporating the AAA Construction Industry Arbitration Rules means that the parties intended to submit issues of arbitrability to the arbitrator and not to the courts. The parties ha… Read More
Read More

Arbitrators were not authorized to award attorneys’ fees in situation where court could have done so

An arbitration panel applying the AAA commercial arbitration rules awarded one party its attorneys’ fees, on the grounds that “substantially all of the defenses [of the other party] were wholly insubstantial, frivolous and not advanced in good fa… Read More
Read More