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 in part motion to stay all proceedings pending appeal to the sixth circuit court of appeals, considering the question of whether an appeal of a denial of a motion to compel arbitration automatically divests the district court of jurisdiction over all further proceedings in the matter. The court found that it retained discretionary jurisdiction to consider plaintiffs motion for a preliminary injunction in the matter.
Metso Minerals Canada, Inc. v. Arcelormittal Exploitation Miniere Canada, No. 1:19-CV-03379-LAP (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 4, 2019)
Court granted motion to confirm arbitral award and denied cross-motion to vacate the award on the grounds of manifest disregard of the law. Court found that the FAA required great deference to the decision of the arbitration panel, and that respondents failed to demonstrate vacatur was proper under the circumstances.
Court denied defendant’s motions to stay litigation and to compel arbitration where plaintiffs brought a variety of federal and state statutory claims relating to a lender’s rent-a-tribe scheme to evade state usury laws. Despite the presence of a provision in the arbitration agreement, expressly delegating the question of scope and enforceability to the arbitrator, the court found that arbitration agreement was unenforceable because it acted as a prospective waiver of plaintiffs’ statutory rights and remedies in contravention of public policy.
Court denied petitioners motion to vacate arbitration award based on arbitrator bias. The court found that the evident partiality standard of the FAA, 9 USC § 10(a)(2), did not require vacatur where: the arbitrator’s son had applied for work with both respondent and the firm representing respondent and been rejected; after closing arguments, the arbitrator was hired by respondent’s counsel on an unrelated litigation matter; and petitioner identified other rulings made by the arbitrator in the course of arbitration which were adverse to said party.
OI European Group B.V. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, No. 1;16-CV-01533-ABJ (D.D.C. Nov. 1, 2019)
Court granted motion to register judgement under 28 USC § 1963 and motion for leave to seek attachment and execution under 28 USC § 1610(c) for collection on an ICSID award rendered four-years prior. The court rejected Venezuela’s argument that five months was an unreasonably short period of time to wait to seek attachment against a foreign government under § 1610(c), and rejected the argument that plaintiff should not be allowed to seek attachment until such time as the political uncertainty relating to the power struggle between the Maduro and Guaido regimes is resolved.