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.
Crystallex International Corp. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, No. 17-7068 (D.C. Cir. Feb. 14, 2019)
Court of appeals affirmed district court judgment affirming an arbitral award against a sovereign state. Court held that none of the three arguments asserted “comes close to securing a withdrawal,” reasoning that the district court had sufficiently considered all of the defendant’s arguments under the FAA, appropriately reviewed the arbitral tribunal’s method for calculating damages, and committed no errors in analyzing the award. Court further sanctioned the defendant for conduct it viewed as misleading to the court.
Abeona Therapeutics, Inc. v. EB Research Partnership, Inc., No. 1:18-CV-10889-DLC (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 14, 2019)
Court granted motion to compel arbitration, holding the parties’ agreement contained a broad arbitration clause and the plaintiff’s challenge to the validity of the overall agreement was irrelevant to the motion to compel. Court further held that, in any event, even if the plaintiff’s argument that the agreement lacked consideration could be directed at its arbitration clause, it would fail.
Court granted motion to compel arbitration and stayed proceedings, holding that a valid arbitration agreement governed the parties’ dispute. Court agreed with the plaintiff that a provision of the agreement prohibiting adjudication of claims for public injunctive relief was invalid under California law, but held that it could be severed from the rest of the agreement, such that the court would retain jurisdiction over adjudicating any such requests and compel arbitration with respect to any other claims.
Court denied in part and allowed in part motion to dismiss and compel arbitration. Court compelled arbitration with respect to intellectual property claims included in the scope of the arbitration agreement and held that any related defenses must be evaluated by the arbitrator, as the agreement delegated questions of arbitrability by incorporating AAA rules. However, the court declined to hold that other claims were so intertwined with the intellectual property claims that they had to be arbitrated as well even though they did not fall within the scope of the arbitral agreement.
Next Level Planning & Wealth Management, LLC v. Prudential Insurance Company of America, No. 2:18-MC-00065-PP (E.D. Wis. Feb. 13, 2019)
Court denied petition to enforce a FINRA arbitration subpoena. Court evaluated the motion to compel compliance with the subpoena as a petition under § 7 of the FAA to compel a non-party witness to appeal. Court reasoned that arbitration differed from litigation by providing for circumscribed discovery procedures and that Section 7 allowed an arbitrator to require production of documents in connection with an evidentiary hearing but not within 30 days of receiving a subpoena.