R&Q Reinsurance Co. v. American Motorist Ins. Co., involved a dispute arising under a series of reinsurance treaties entered into by the parties. Pursuant to the arbitration clauses in the treaties, their dispute was heard by a panel of arbitrators, which issued its “Final Award” on February 5, 2010. The Final Award did not include a specific interest figure, and after receiving briefing from each party on their respective interest calculations, the Panel issued a separate order concerning that issue on March 15, 2010.

Section 12 of the Federal Arbitration Act requires that a motion to vacate an arbitration award be served upon the adverse party or its attorney within three months after the award is filed or delivered. R&Q moved to vacate the Final Award on May 6, 2010, one day after the three month deadline. R&Q contended that “three months” should be interpreted to mean “ninety days,” and thus its motion to vacate was timely. The court disagreed, noting that the language in Section 12 is unambiguous in prescribing a three month deadline. Accordingly, the court ruled that R&Q’s motion was untimely.

In addition, the court rejected R&Q’s alternative argument that the Panel’s “final award” for purposes of calculating the time requirement of Section 12 was not the award issued on February 5, but rather the March 15 ruling concerning the interest issue. The court found that the March 15 award merely involved an interest allocation, and thus did not affect the finality of the February 5 Award, which specifically stated that it was a “final and fully enforceable arbitration award.”

The full decision, titled R&Q Reinsurance Co. v. American Motorist Ins. Co., Case No. 10 C 2825 (N.D.Ill. Oct. 14, 2010) can be found here.