Shearman & Sterling’s US International Arbitration Digest (US IA Digest) provides a centralized resource for newly released decisions issued by US courts. The US IA Digest collects in one place important decisions on US international arbitration case law issued since January 1, 2016, compiled and organized into categories that are most relevant and useful to practitioners and other interested parties. The Digest will be updated on a rolling basis as new decisions are issued.
Court denied defendants’ motions to compel arbitration. Court recognized that Supreme Court doctrine delegates challenges to a contract to the arbitrator and challenges to the arbitration agreement itself to the court, but found that plaintiff was raising a third type of challenge as to whether or not a contract existed at all, which was for the court to decide.
Court denied plaintiff’s petition to vacate the arbitration award and confirmed defendants’ cross-petition to confirm. Court rejected plaintiff’s arguments that the chair of the panel was inherently biased against the plaintiff because she was a “repeat player” and “only SocGen has the ability to give [the chair] continuing business” and that the chair failed to make a complete disclosure regarding the number of times she served as an arbitrator in matters involving Societe Generale. Court also rejected plaintiff’s allegations that the defendant coached its witnesses and instructed them to engage in perjury, and that the tribunal refused to consider pertinent and material evidence because the relevant issues were within the discretion of the panel.
Court granted defendant’s motion to compel arbitration. Court held that (i) the arbitration clause was not superseded by a separate contract, which was executed at the same time and covered different terms than the purchase agreement; (ii) the arbitration clause did not contradict any terms in second contract; (iii) arbitration would provide complete relief to the plaintiff; (iv) defendant did not waive its right to arbitration when it rescinded the second contract; (v) plaintiff did not meet her burden of showing that she was fraudulently induced to sign the arbitration clause; and (vi) the arbitration clause was not unconscionable due to its fee-shifting provisions.
Court granted defendant’s motion to compel arbitration, rejecting plaintiff’s arguments that the arbitration provision was unconscionable. Court also rejected plaintiff’s argument that defendant waived its right to enforce the arbitration provision when it instituted criminal theft proceedings against the plaintiff, as this argument was a defense to arbitrability as a whole and the existence of a delegation clause—which delegated issues of arbitrability to the arbitrator—required plaintiff to specifically challenge the delegation clause.
Court granted motion to compel arbitration and rejected plaintiff’s argument that the employment contracts containing the arbitration agreements were invalid due to lack of consideration. Court also rejected plaintiff’s claim of fraudulent inducement, as plaintiff only asserted that he was fraudulently induced to enter into one of the arbitration agreements and challenges to the arbitration clause itself do not prevent a court from enforcing a specific agreement to arbitrate.