February 26, 2020

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Arbitrator Found Not to Have Issued a Reasoned Award, SDNY Remands to Arbitrator for Clarification

The Southern District of New York remanded an arbitration award back to the arbitrator for clarification, as the parties had agreed to a “reasoned” award, and the arbitrator exceeded his authority in issuing an award that did not meet the standard of a reasoned opinion. In dismissing the petitioner’s arguments, the court noted that “the arbitrator conclusorily states that ‘having heard all of the testimony, reviewed all of the documentary proofs and exhibits, he does not find support for [the petitioner’s] claims.’ … There is no reason given for this finding other than the negative credibility determination as to [the petitioner’s] expert witness.” New York precedent states: “[A]n arbitrator exceeds his or her powers when the arbitrator renders a form of award that does not satisfy the requirements the parties stipulated to in their arbitration agreement.”

Smarter Tools, Inc v Chongqing SENCI Import & Export Trade Co., 1:18-cv-02714 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 26, 2019)

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About this Author

Nora A. Valenza-Frost, Carlton Fields, Insurance lawyer

Nora Valenza-Frost represents U.S. and international insurers and reinsurers in arbitration and litigation involving complex claims, coverage and regulatory issues across all lines of business.

Nora provides coverage opinions for claims involving several lines of business, including commercial general liability (CGL), professional liability, directors and officers liability (D&O), contractor’s protective professional indemnity (CPPI), errors and omissions (E&O), excess and surplus lines, property, workers’ compensation, business interruption, life and health, pollution,...