So, you think you have a strong case for challenging an unfavorable arbitral award on grounds that the arbitrator was (1) partial, (2) committed misconduct, or (3) exceeded his or her powers? Ponder your decision very carefully because history has shown that overturning an arbitral award on appeal is extremely difficult given that the standards of review under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) and analogous statutes are extremely narrow. Under section 10(a) of the FAA, vacatur is appropriate under the following four narrow circumstances:
(1) where the award was procured by corruption, fraud, or undue means;
(2) where there was evident partiality or corruption in the arbitrators;
(3) where the arbitrators were guilty of misconduct; or
(4) where the arbitrators exceeded their powers.
See Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. §10(a).