August 29, 2017 Articles

Reversal of Arbitration Awards: A Potpourri of Cases

By Sheila J. Carpenter

It is not easy to persuade a court to vacate an arbitration award, but it does happen. Here are a few recent cases where a court did just that, and one where that attempt was rejected. The causes for the courts' actions range from arbitrators behaving badly to simple mistakes by an arbitration panel.

Arbitrator Misconduct: Lying about Credentials
Section 10 of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), 9 U.S.C. § 10, provides that an arbitration award procured by fraud may be vacated.

In Move, Inc., v. Citigroup Global Markets, 840 F.3d 1152 (9th Cir. 2016), the arbitrator himself was a fraud. Move, Inc., claimed that Citigroup Global Markets had mismanaged its substantial funds. The arbitration agreement between the parties provided that the chairperson had to be an attorney. The person chosen to chair the panel was only masquerading as an attorney, using the credentials of an attorney with the same name to participate in Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitrations. His fraud was discovered more than four years after the final award in favor of Citigroup.

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