The Second Circuit has dismissed an appeal arising from a reinsurance dispute between Northwestern National Insurance Company and Insco, Ltd. As we last reported in a December 29, 2011 post, those entities were parties to a reinsurance agreement and submitted a dispute to arbitration, with each party appointing its own arbitrator, and those two in turn selecting a neutral third to act as umpire. Insco’s appointed arbitrator shared private email communications between panel members with Insco’s counsel, believing that they showed that Northwestern’s selected arbitrator could not serve as an impartial arbitrator. Insco reviewed the emails and thereafter demanded that all the arbitrators resign immediately. Northwestern’s arbitrator resigned, but Insco’s and the neutral umpire did not. Northwestern then became suspicious that Insco had received the private panel member emails and demanded copies, but Insco refused. Northwestern named a new arbitrator, and the panel took up the issue, compelling production, determining that Insco’s counsel had acted inappropriately, and allowing the parties time to take the matter up in court.

Northwestern brought an action in federal court to disqualify Insco’s counsel. The trial court granted the motion to disqualify. Insco appealed, challenging the trial court’s jurisdiction and statutory authority to do so. On November 6, 2012, however, Insco moved to dismiss the appeal because the parties had settled the underlying arbitration. That motion was granted on November 21, 2012. Northwestern National Insurance Co. v. Insco, Ltd., No. 11-4626 (2d Cir. Nov. 21, 2012).