Wednesday, April 13, 2016

CPLR 7511 and arbitration awards.

Practice point:  The Appellate Division rejected the petitioner's contention that the arbitrator exceeded his authority, and affirmed the arbitrator's award.  An arbitrator exceeds his or her authority only if the arbitrator gives a completely irrational construction to the provisions in dispute. Here, the Appellate Division determined that it was not irrational for the arbitrator to find that the broad arbitration clause of the subject personal management agreement, which contained a carve-out for the "collection of any past due monies," pertained only to disputes that were delinquent but not genuinely disputed, and that the determination of amounts owing could be determined by the arbitrator.

Nor was the arbitrator's determination in disregard of the law or so abusive of his discretion as to constitute misconduct. Petitioners were not denied a fair hearing because the arbitrator accepted respondent's position on commissions as expressed in her affidavit, which was supported by the documentary evidence submitted in response to petitioner's extensive interrogatories. There was no need for a deposition to determine respondent's credibility; the arbitrator had the opportunity to make that assessment at the arbitration hearing.

Student note:  The standard for vacating an arbitration award under CPLR 7511 is clear and convincing evidence.

Case:  Matter of Greenky v. Aytes, NY Slip Op 02714 (1st Dep't 2016)

Here is the decision.

Tomorrow's issue:  Leave to amend denied.