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Provider and Arbitrator Immunity for Acting in Their Official Capacities

Once parties have voluntarily agreed to resolve their disputes by arbitration courts have no authority to intervene in the proceeding and only a limited role at the end of the process to determine whether it was tainted in some manner prejudicial to the losing party, and if there is neither taint nor unfairness to confirm […]

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Providers and Arbitrators Immune from Liability for Acting in Their Official Capacities

Blog was originally posted on the NYSBA ADR Section Blog, June 23, 2016. There have lately been a number of decisions around the country with rulings on immunity for arbitrators and providers acting within their official capacities, and it would not be amiss to take a quick tour of the claims and judicial responses to […]

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Architectural Underpinning: Consequences of Violating Provider Rules

First Published in the New York State Bar Association ADR Section Journal, New York Dispute Resolution Lawyer, May 2016 No arbitration decision is complete without the court acknowledging that public policy favors this form of dispute resolution.1 The goal finds particular expression in judges’ restraint from second-guessing arbitrators’ awards.2 The U.S. Supreme Court has held […]

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Arbitrators Acting Within and Exceeding Their Powers

First published on the New York Bar Association, ADR Section website July 15, 2014 Finding that an arbitrator has exceeded his or her powers is exceedingly rare. An arbitrator’s interpretation of the parties’ contract prevails even if there is “arguably a better [one].” American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO v. United States Postal Service, __ F.3d […]

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Time Limitations to Confirm Arbitration Award

There are time limitations to confirm arbitration awards.  The consequences are dire for missing the deadlines. A recent decision from the Third Department, Bianchi v. Katz, 111 A.D.3d 1012 (2013) is a warning against untimeliness in taking steps to confirm an award. Every procedure has its time limitations. A party seeking to stay an arbitration […]

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Compelling Arbitration of Nonsignatories

First published in Dispute Resolution Section Blog of the New York State Bar Association December 13, 2013 ( A nonsignatory to an arbitration agreement is not generally subject to it and cannot be compelled to submit to the proceedings, but there are equitable circumstances that may warrant a different result. MAG Portfolio Consultant, GMBH v. […]

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Need for Precise Language in Drafting Arbitration Clauses

Need for Precise Language in Drafting Arbitration Clauses first appeared on the New York State Bar Association, Dispute Resolution Section, “Roundtable” June 24, 2013 Parties elect arbitration but tend not to craft their language in drafting arbitration clauses. This is a common mistake as parties learn from court decision. Case law instructs just how important […]

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Unlikelihood of Having an Arbitration Award Vacated

First appeared on the New York State Bar Association, Dispute Resolution Section, “Roundtable” April 22, 2013 Arbitrators naturally express anxiety about having an arbitration award vacated, but in reality it rarely happens. Awards are presumptively legitimate so long as arbitrators “manifest [no] infidelity” to their obligation to “interpret and apply” the parties’ agreement. Steelworkers v. […]

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