In Improv West Associates, et al. v. Comedy Club, Inc., 514 F.3d 833 (9th Cir. 2007), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit vacated an arbitration award on the basis that the arbitrator’s refusal to abide by well-established California law in rendering its decision was in manifest disregard of the law. Early last month, however, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the Ninth Circuit’s judgment and remanded the case to that court for further consideration of this issue in light of Hall Street Associates, L.L.C. v. Mattel, Inc., 128 S.Ct. 1396 (2008), which was decided after the Ninth Circuit’s decision. See Improv West Associates, et al. v. Comedy Club, Inc., 2008 WL 1826049 (Oct. 6, 2008).
Since the Supreme Court’s decision in Hall Street, www.insurereinsure.com has tracked how courts have interpreted that decision with regard to the doctrine of manifest disregard of the law and, specifically, whether courts have held that Hall Street eliminated that doctrine as a basis for challenging arbitration awards arising under the Federal Arbitration Act. You can find several blog posts on this topic on the “Arbitration” and “Reinsurance” pages of www.insurereinsure.com. Stay tuned to see how the Ninth Circuit in Improv West Associates interprets the Hall Street decision.