Courts have continued to brush aside objections and confirm arbitration awards, with an uneven consideration of the impact of Hall Street Associates on the manifest disregard of law doctrine.

  • Several courts have considered the manifest disregard of law doctrine: Hereford v. D. R. Horton, Inc., 2008 WL 4097594 (Ala. Sept. 5, 2008) (under Hall Street Associates, “manifest disregard of law is no longer a proper basis under the Federal Arbitration Act for vacating, modifying, or correcting an arbitrator’s award") (Alabama Supreme Court decisions are available only by subscription); Kuest v. Citigroup Global Markets Inc., No. 07-35005 (9th Cir. Aug. 26, 2008) (very short opinion affirming district court’s confirmation of award, in part based on there being no manifest disregard of law, without mentioning Hall Street Associates) (see December 5, 2006 blog post on the underlying district court ruling); DMA Int’l, Inc. v. Qwest Communciations Int’l, Case No. 08-358 (USDC D. Col. Sept. 12, 2008) (articulate but not reach Hall Street Associates impact since the award was not in manifest disregard of law; also rejects claims of arbitrator partiality and arbitrator error); Legacy Trading Co. v. Hoffman, Case No. 07-1383 (USDC W.D. Ok. Aug. 18, 2008) (rejecting manifest disregard of law challenge without mentioning Hall Street Associates; also rejects evident partiality of arbitrator and public policy challenges to the award).
  • Ameritech Corp. v. Int’l Brotherhood of Elec. Workers, No. 05-2574 (7th Cir. Sept. 10, 2008) addressed an interesting scenario in which there were two consecutive arbitrations with differing results, and the question arose as to which award controlled. The parties agreed to participate in a third arbitration under Fed. R. App. Pro. 33, with the result of the resulting arbitration controlling. The court held the parties to that agreement.
  • An award was partially vacated in Verizon Washington, DC Inc. v. Communications Workers of Am., Case No. 07-1460 (USDC D.D.C. Aug. 5, 2008) because the arbitrator had clearly disregarded a contractual provision which limited the duration of back pay awards, awarding back pay for a longer period of time than that provided for in the contract, exceeding the authority granted by the contract. See the opinion and the remand Order.