Archives: Federal Arbitration Act

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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

Resolving Competing Arbitration Clauses

A typical reinsurance contract has one arbitration clause. But sometimes, the contract is endorsed and a second and different arbitration clause may appear. Which controls? That was the question faced recently in a Hurricane Sandy reinsurance dispute when a facultative certificate of reinsurance had an arbitration clause in its body at Section U, but had … Continue Reading

American Rule Prevails on Petition to Vacate Arbitration Award

Some contracts, including insurance and reinsurance contracts, include provisions providing that the successful party’s damage award will include all costs of the suit or arbitration, including attorney fees. This type of clause modifies the traditional default American Rule of costs and fees, in which each litigant pays its own attorney fees, win or lose. What … Continue Reading

Arbitration Means Arbitration Even If It Is About Arbitration

No one should doubt that the federal policy in favor of arbitration is broad and deep. It is evident in how difficult it is to vacate an arbitration award or avoid having to arbitrate a dispute where there is a broad arbitration provision. A recent case makes this even clearer.… Continue Reading

Evident Partiality As a Ground to Vacate An Arbitration Award

Most insurance and reinsurance arbitrations fall within the scope of the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) because they involve interstate commerce. But vacating an FAA arbitration award (there is no “appeal”) is an uphill battle. Only limited grounds exist to mount the challenge and very few challenges are successful. Evident partiality is one of those grounds.… Continue Reading

Confidentiality in Arbitration

Much has been said over the years about the benefits of arbitration as a private, confidential mechanism for resolving business disputes. For decades the courts, especially the federal courts, have touted the confidential nature of private commercial arbitration. Courts regularly defer to arbitration and there is a clear federal policy favoring arbitration. So why when … Continue Reading
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