As leading jurisdictions around the world continue to establish national courts dedicated to the oversight of international arbitration issues, one wonders whether this is an idea whose time has come. This issue was previously discussed on this blog in September 2010. Much progress has been made in the intervening years. The most recent jurisdiction to…

The U.S. Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) provides that a federal district court may vacate an arbitration award, among other reasons, “where there was evident partiality or corruption in the arbitrators.” 9 U.S.C. §10(a). However, as illustrated by a recently decided case in the Southern District of New York, U.S. district courts apply different standards of…

I was asked the other day whether I would recommend that the United States not only ratify the U.N. Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea—known as the “Rotterdam Rules”—but also adopt optional chapters 14 and 15 on the jurisdiction of courts and arbitration.1)As of June 2012 twenty-four…

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently issued a decision that has some interesting implications for the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in the U.S. against foreign state agencies or state-owned companies. American readers, get ready for a review of Civil Procedure 101 on personal jurisdiction! The United States…

The United States Supreme Court’s decision in AT&T v. Concepcion last April appeared to signal the demise of class arbitration in the United States. That decision upheld a consumer contract arbitration agreement that waived the consumer’s right to initiate a class action lawsuit or arbitration. In its recent D.R. Horton v. Cuda decision (Case 12-CA-25764),…

On December 14, the Second Circuit rendered its decision in Figueiredo Ferraz e Engenharia de Projecto Ltda. v. Republic of Peru, 2001 WL 6188497 (2d Cir. Dec. 14, 2011), which represents a significant development in the court’s jurisprudence on forum non conveniens dismissals of actions to enforce foreign arbitral awards. As explained below, the decision…

In February 2011, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in Stok & Associates, P.A., v. Citibank, N.A, (No. 10-514). The question presented was whether, under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”), a party should be “required to demonstrate prejudice after the opposing party waived its contractual right to arbitrate by participating in litigation, in order…

Many leading jurisdictions in international arbitration have adopted all or part of the UN Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (“Model Law”). The question that remains is: Why Hasn’t the United States? The Federal Arbitration Act does provide many similarities to the Model Law. They both address enforcement of an arbitral award, grounds for setting…

On April 27, 2010, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its decision in Stolt-Nielsen S.A. v. AnimalFeeds International Corp., No. 08-1198, 559 U.S. ___ (2010). The Court reversed a Second Circuit ruling permitting arbitrators to impose class arbitration upon four shipping companies—including White & Case client Stolt-Nielsen S.A.—under those shipping companies’ shipping contracts…

Even casual observers of American arbitration law will have encountered the “manifest disregard of the law” doctrine. It has been invoked for decades by litigants seeking to set aside (vacate) an award under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). The doctrine is just one example of why the regime affecting commercial arbitration in the United States…