May 30, 2014 Articles

Advising Clients of Arbitration Awards and Vacatur of an Award

The emergence, and now dominance, of email usage has had a significant impact on litigation attorneys, both in terms of their pretrial practice and their presentation of evidence at trial

by Chad Cron and K. Stefan Chin

A significant dispute has arisen in connection with your client’s work on a construction project and, pursuant to the contract documents, the dispute has proceeded to arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). Several days into the arbitration hearing, your client surmises that the arbitration is not going well and there is a high probability of an adverse award. Your client turns to you and says, “This arbitration panel is misinterpreting the facts and not applying the law; we can always seek to overturn the arbitration award, right?”

Without hesitation you recall that, as part of your pre-arbitration checklist, you advised the client about the potential for an adverse award and explained that there are very limited grounds for vacating an arbitration award under the FAA. As you reflect on that discussion, you breathe a sigh of relief because you know that prior to proceeding with arbitration you made the client fully aware of the following:

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