Thursday, August 3, 2017

Vacating an arbitration award for partiality.

Practice point:  To vacate the award because of evident partiality under the Federal Arbitration Act (9 U.S.C. § 10[a][2], the movant must show that, given the totality of the circumstances, a reasonable person would have to conclude that an arbitrator was partial to one party.  While this showing requires something more than the mere appearance of bias, proof of actual bias is not required. Instead, a finding of partiality can be inferred from objective facts inconsistent with impartiality. While actual knowledge of a conflict can be dispositive of the evident partiality test, the absence of actual knowledge is not.

Student note:  The court will consider factors such as (1) the extent and character of the personal interest, pecuniary or otherwise, of the arbitrator; (2) the directness of the relationship between the arbitrator and the party he is alleged to favor; (3) the connection of that relationship to the arbitrator; and (4) the proximity in time between the relationship and the arbitration proceeding.

Case:  Matter of TCR Sports Broadcasting Holding, LLP v. WN Partner, LLC, NY Slip Op 05689 (1st Dep't July 13, 2017)

Here is the decision. 

Tomorrow's issueDetermining the amount and duration of maintenance.