January 21, 2021 International Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Third Circuit Holds an Arbitration Award Was a Judicial Record and Must Be Unsealed

Parties concerned with maintaining the confidentiality of arbitration awards should think carefully before filing petitions to confirm, vacate, or modify them.

By Frederick Acomb and Emily Ladd

One of the perceived advantages of arbitration over litigation is that the proceedings are presumed to be confidential. An increasing number of court decisions suggest that this presumption may be misplaced. In December 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that an arbitration award filed with a petition to confirm the award was a judicial record and hence subject to the common-law right of access.

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