Archives: Federal Arbitration Act

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Enforcement of Arbitration Subpoenas and Summonses

Sometimes it is necessary to obtain evidence from non-parties during a reinsurance arbitration.  Yet, the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) does not expressly sanction non-party (or for that matter any) pre-hearing discovery.  In practice, however, most parties ask the arbitration panel to issue a subpoena to a “hearing” and then negotiate with the non-party about producing … Continue Reading

Arbitration of Insurance Coverage Disputes

Coverage disputes between insurance carriers and policyholders are ripe for resolution through arbitration.  ARIAS•U.S. is working on a project to create an arbitration pathway, including modified rules and requirements for certified arbitrators, for these types of disputes and others.  But unless the parties agree or the insurance contract contains an arbitration clause, the arbitration option … Continue Reading

When Arbitrators Exceed Their Powers

When an arbitration panel issues a final award any challenge to that award faces an uphill battle.  That is because under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) a final arbitration award must be confirmed (if requested) and can only be vacated for a very narrow set of reasons.  Of the four grounds for vacatur under Section … Continue Reading

New Arbitrability Decision from the Supreme Court

A new arbitration decision was handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court on January 8, 2019.  My colleagues in our labor and employment practice swiftly blogged about the new decision so I won’t repeat their cogent analysis. The case has nothing to do with insurance or reinsurance. But the principles set forth by Justice Kavanaugh … Continue Reading

Arbitration Awards and Confidentiality Revisited

In reinsurance arbitrations, most parties agree to confidentiality and enter into a formal confidentiality order.  The confidentiality order typically applies to the final award as well as all materials generated in the arbitration.  Some insurance and reinsurance agreements have confidentiality provisions that lead to the same result.  The ARIAS-U.S. Rules for U.S. Insurance & Reinsurance … Continue Reading

New Case on Consolidation in Reinsurance Arbitrations

It’s pretty clear in most jurisdictions that the question of whether disputes under multiple reinsurance contracts should be consolidated is a question for the arbitrators and not the court.  What’s less clear is how the parties get an arbitration panel in place to address the consolidation issue. A California federal court recently addressed this issue.… Continue Reading

December 2018 Reinsurance Newsletter

In this edition of the Squire Patton Boggs Reinsurance Newsletter we cover two Second Circuit cases; one on functus officio and the other on a post-Global v. Century decision.  Other cases include state court cases on manifest disregard and functus officio and on whether an arbitration provision was enforceable.  Comments are welcomed.  Please click here to … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Affirms Exception to Functus Officio Rule in Arbitration

In 2017, we discussed a reinsurance case where the district court articulated an exception to the functus officio rule that allows for clarification of an arbitral award.  The Second Circuit has now affirmed that decision and joins the Third, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Ninth Circuits in allowing this exception.… Continue Reading

Vacating an Arbitration Award for Evident Partiality Just Got Harder

Vacating an arbitration award has always been tough.  The Federal Arbitration Act only has limited bases to seek vacatur.  One of those bases is when there is “evident partiality” by the arbitrator. 9 U.S.C. § 10(a)(2).  In “traditional” reinsurance arbitrations, the arbitration panel includes two party-appointed arbitrators, each of whom may be predisposed toward the position of … Continue Reading

State Anti-Arbitration Statutes, the New York Convention and the McCarran-Ferguson Act

Arbitration provisions in insurance or reinsurance contracts periodically are challenged based on state anti-arbitration statutes.  Often, when non-US insurers or reinsurers are involved, the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the “New York Convention“) is raised as a basis to enforce the arbitration provisions in federal court.  The counterpoint to that … Continue Reading

March 2018 Reinsurance Newsletter

Our March 2018 Reinsurance Newsletter is now available for your reading pleasure.  This issue covers the Global v. Century decision by the New York Court of Appeals answering the Second Circuit’s certified question as well as our annual review of reinsurance trends in 2017, as well as cases involving reinsurance for the September 11th terrorist attacks … Continue Reading

September 2017 Reinsurance Newsletter

Our September 2017 Reinsurance Newsletter includes a featured article on discovery of reserves and reinsurance information as well as an update on the US-EU Covered Agreement.  It also reports on recent cases, including a manifest disregard case, a case on Insurance Law 1213 security and reinsurance collection issues by the assignee of a liquidator.  Please … Continue Reading

When the Court Picks Your Arbitrator

One of the criticisms leveled at arbitration is the length of time it takes to select the arbitration panel and specifically the third arbitrator or umpire.  Most arbitration clauses either specify an arbitral authority to assist the parties in selecting the arbitration panel or specify in the arbitration clause the method for selection and criteria … Continue Reading

June 2017 Reinsurance Newsletter

This quarter’s Squire Patton Boggs Reinsurance Newsletter leads off with a summary of a New York federal case where an arbitration award was vacated for evident partiality.  It also features an update on the US-EU Covered Agreement. Please enjoy.… Continue Reading

Precluded By Issue Preclusion From Enforcing Reinsurance Arbitration Clause

In a recent state court appellate decision on a reinsurance collections dispute, the court affirmed a lower court order denying a motion to compel arbitration based on the collateral estoppel or issue preclusion effect of a prior decision. Collateral estoppel or issue preclusion may be used offensively or defensively. It is a civil procedure doctrine … Continue Reading

Relationship? What Relationship?: Evident Partiality and Arbitrator Disclosure

Arbitrators have a special responsibility to disclose all relevant relationships to the parties so that any potential conflicts can be vetted. There are some obvious relationships that need to be disclosed like prior employment by one of the parties. There are other relationships that may be disclosed out of an abundance of caution, but typically … Continue Reading

March 2017 Reinsurance Newsletter

This quarter’s Squire Patton Boggs Reinsurance Newsletter focuses on the certified question sent to the New York Court of Appeals by the Second Circuit on Bellefonte. It also features regulatory updates on the US-EU Covered Agreement as it affects reinsurance and on the new duty to pay insurance and reinsurance claims in the UK. Finally, … Continue Reading

The Interplay Between Subrogation, Arbitration and Insurance Insolvency

When an insurance company pays a loss on a claim, the insurance company often exercises its equitable right of subrogation to stand in the shoes of the insured and seek compensation from a third-party alleged to have caused the loss. In the property context, there may be an underlying contract that requires arbitration between the insured … Continue Reading

Is a Private Commercial Arbitration a Foreign Tribunal Under 1782?

Insurance and reinsurance arbitrations outside the United States sometimes require the taking of evidence in the United States. Under federal law, “[t]he district court of the district in which a person resides or is found may order him to give his testimony or statement or to produce a document or other thing for use in … Continue Reading

The Dangers of Selecting an Exclusive Arbitral Forum

Arbitration clauses in commercial contracts often specify an arbitral forum before which any dispute must be arbitrated. Insurance and reinsurance contracts containing arbitration clauses are no different. Specificity about the arbitral forum (or the arbitral rules or the appointing authority in case of an impasse) in an arbitration clause has resulted in much case law over the … Continue Reading

Squire Patton Boggs Reinsurance Newsletter September 2016

The September 2016 edition of the Squire Patton Boggs Reinsurance Newsletter is out! In this issue, we cover the 6th Circuit’s decision on ex parte communications that resulted in an arbitration award being vacated. We also cover a Massachusetts federal court’s rejection of a pre-award challenge to an arbitrator and an Arizona federal court’s granting … Continue Reading

When a Reinsurance Contract Is an Insurance Contract

You know the old saying: if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it must be a duck! So when a contract is called a Facultative Reinsurance Agreement is it a reinsurance contract or an insurance contract? Recently a Missouri appellate court addressed this issue to determine an appeal of the denial … Continue Reading

Are Pre-Award Challenges to Arbitrator Qualifications Still Possible?

One of the most vexing issues facing parties in reinsurance arbitrations is whether the other side’s party-appointed arbitrator qualifies under the arbitrator criteria set forth in the arbitration clause of the reinsurance agreement. The issue is frustrating because sometimes the arbitrator criteria is not as clear as it should be, which leaves room for creative appointments. … Continue Reading

Confirming a Reinsurance Arbitration Award After Payment Is Made

The Federal Arbitration Act provides that “[i]f the parties in their agreement have agreed that a judgment of the court shall be entered upon the award made pursuant to the arbitration, and shall specify the court, then at any time within one year after the award is made any party to the arbitration may apply to … Continue Reading
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