Federal Arbitration Act

Subscribe to Federal Arbitration Act RSS Feed

Arbitration Prevails in Coverage Dispute

In a recent coverage dispute, an Indiana federal court addressed a two-pronged issue.  First, in the case of a multi-tiered ADR clause, who decides whether the dispute should be conducted under the arbitration section of the clause?  Second, where there are several arbitration clauses, who decides which one prevails?  You’ll have to read more to … Continue Reading

June 2020 Reinsurance Newsletter

The Squire Patton Boggs June 2020 Reinsurance Newsletter is now available for your reading pleasure.  You can read the Newsletter on the Squire Patton Boggs website at this link.  In this issue we discuss the Second Circuit’s Utica v. Fireman’s Fund decision, which reversed a judgment for the cedent after a jury verdict.  We also … Continue Reading

New York Federal Court Compels Arbitration in Life Reinsurance Dispute Over Trust Assets

Where two or more agreements are involved in a transaction, a dispute over one of the agreements often raises arbitrability questions.  This is especially true where a reinsurance agreement with an arbitration clause is paired with a trust agreement with no arbitration clause.  In a recent life reinsurance case, a New York federal court addressed … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Rules Summons Enforceable Under Section 7 of the Federal Arbitration Act

Because of the quasi-judicial nature of arbitration and the limited powers given to arbitrators under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) to control discovery, how a party to an arbitration goes about seeking evidence from a recalcitrant witness has caused some controversy.  Different courts have come up with different interpretations about whether arbitration subpoenas are enforceable … Continue Reading

Final Arbitration Award Including Attorney Fees Confirmed

Awards of attorney fees are few and far between in reinsurance arbitrations, but they happen.  When they happen, the losing side sometimes seeks to vacate the award based on the arbitrators exceeding their powers in awarding attorney fees.  In a recent case, the court had to decide whether to confirm or vacate an award with … Continue Reading

Final Award Confirmed Over Interim Final Award in Reinsurance Dispute

Reinsurance arbitration panels, when asked, sometimes issue interim awards that address merits issues.  Often this happens when the parties need clarity on how to calculate a reinsurance billing.  The panel’s interim award may resolve certain issues and suggest that the parties meet and confer to see if they can now resolve the dispute, but if … Continue Reading

Federal Risk Retention Act Preempts State Anti-arbitration Law

During an earlier insurance availability crisis, the federal government enacted the Liability Risk Retention Act (“LRRA”).  Under the LRRA, a risk retention group (“RRG”) can be formed in one state and can do an insurance business in other states.  As discussed in a recent blog post, some states have passed anti-arbitration laws that preclude insurance … Continue Reading

Reverse Preemption Is Alive and Well in Washington State

Most reinsurance contracts have binding arbitration provisions.  The Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) sets out a national policy in favor of arbitration.  Yet, there are states that expressly preclude arbitration provisions in insurance contracts.  Does that apply to reinsurance contracts?… Continue Reading

Arbitrators to Decide If Reinsurance Rebilling After Final Arbitration Award Is Precluded

What happens when, after a reinsurance arbitration over how the ceding company billed the reinsurer is resolved in the reinsurer’s favor with a final award confirmed by the court, the ceding company rebills the reinsurer for the same losses (but differently than the way it did during the prior arbitration)?  If the reinsurer again denies … Continue Reading

March 2020 Reinsurance Newsletter

The Squire Patton Boggs Reinsurance Newsletter has been published.  The March 2020 Newsletter includes a discussion of a Third Circuit consolidation issue, reinsurance cases resulting from the recent hurricanes in Puerto Rico, an intervention case in the life reinsurance world, and, of course, our annual A Brief Review of Reinsurance Trends section covering the important … Continue Reading

Who Demands Arbitration Is Key to Whether Arbitration Will Be Compelled

Complex corporate structures and internal reinsurance relationships can complicate legacy reinsurance relationships.  This is especially true where the underlying losses are long-tail liabilities and where companies have changed, merged, combined and succeeded each other.  A key question for any legacy reinsurance treaty is whether the losses now being ceded come within the scope of the … Continue Reading

Binding Arbitration Award In Coverage Dispute Ends Later Coverage Litigation

Many insurance policies have binding arbitration clauses along with other provisions that address whether a lawsuit may be brought against the insurance company.  What happens when the arbitration goes against the policyholder?  Can the policyholder then sue the insurance company over the same coverage dispute even if the arbitrator ruled against the policyholder?… Continue Reading

Who Decides Consolidation Issue? A New Arbitration Panel or the Old One?

It is pretty well settled under modern arbitration law, including reinsurance arbitrations, that procedural issues like consolidation are questions for the arbitrators and not the courts.  But what happens if there are multiple arbitration panels?  Which panel decides the consolidation application?  And what if one arbitration has been completed and a motion to consolidate is … Continue Reading

Liquidator Compelled to Arbitrate Hurricane Reinsurance Disputes

The federal policy favoring arbitration sometimes bumps up against state-based receivers where the receiver would rather the receivership court address reinsurance disputes than have the matter arbitrated.  In the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico, reinsurance disputes arose over a cedent’s allocation between the hurricanes and other aspects of the many … Continue Reading

December 2019 Reinsurance Newsletter

In our December 2019 Reinsurance Newsletter we discuss non-signatories being bound by arbitration clauses, a case involving who decides arbitrability questions, a functus officio case, a remand to an arbitration panel to clarify an arbitration award, and an update on TRIA.  A number of other case developments are digested as well.  Please enjoy.  Feedback is always welcomed.… Continue Reading

Another Federal Court Denies Application to Seal Arbitration Award

Nearly every US reinsurance arbitration includes a Confidentiality Agreement.  The vast majority of those confidentiality agreements are based on the ARIAS•U.S. Confidentiality Agreement and Protective Order model form.  Most confidentiality agreements provide that disclosure may be made “as is necessary in connection with court proceedings relating to any aspect of the arbitration, including but not limited … Continue Reading

Unique Arbitration Clause Does Not Prevent Granting of Motion to Compel Arbitration

Whether a motion to compel arbitration will be granted depends on, among other things, whether the arbitration provision is broad or narrow and whether the dispute falls within the scope of the arbitration provision.  In a recent case, a California federal court construed unique language in an arbitration provision in a reinsurance agreement, granted the … Continue Reading

Reinsurance and the Death Master File

In a traditional life insurance and reinsurance relationship, a life insurance company issues a policy to a policyholder and reinsures the policy (usually via a block of business consisting of the same or similar policies) with its reinsurer either by coinsurance or on a yearly renewable term basis (or otherwise).  When the insured person dies, … Continue Reading

It’s Not Over Until It Is Over

In reinsurance arbitrations, once the arbitration panel issues its final award its job is over.  That’s what the doctrine of functus officio means.  But there are exceptions to the functus officio rule (see our Blog from November 2018).  Additionally, what happens when a panel retains jurisdiction after issuing the final award?  In a recent case, … Continue Reading

Non-Party Notice of Appeal in Reinsurance Dispute Results in an Award of Attorney Fees

When you are not a party to a legal proceeding, but nevertheless file a notice of appeal purportedly on behalf of a party after a settlement, the likelihood of a positive outcome is very low.  Such was the case recently before a New York federal court.  The result:  an award of attorney fees.… Continue Reading

Non-Signatory Surety Bound By Arbitration Clause in Incorporated Contract

An arbitration provision in a contract typically applies only to the contracting parties.  Where, however, the contract is incorporated by reference into a second agreement, if it is broad enough, the party to the second agreement–although a non-signatory to the original agreement–may find that the arbitration provision applies to them as well.  This was the … Continue Reading

September 2019 Reinsurance Newsletter

The September 2019 Reinsurance Newsletter is now available for your reading pleasure.  You may access it on the Squire Patton Boggs website or here.  In this issue, we discuss a decision concerning the preclusive effect of an interim security award, a captive reinsurance dispute and an update on EU Third Country Equivalence.  Please enjoy.  Comments … Continue Reading

Pre-Answer Security and Preclusion Based on Arbitral Decision — Who Decides?

In reinsurance disputes where one party is insolvent or has financial difficulties, the other side often demands security.  Where a non-domiciliary is involved, some states have pre-answer security requirements, which have been held to apply in reinsurance arbitrations.  In a procedurally complicated case, where an arbitration panel issued a security award and then stayed the … Continue Reading

In a Battle of Conformity and Preemption, Arbitration Prevails

The Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution nullifies state laws that conflict with federal law and treaties of the U.S.  But, under the McCarran-Ferguson Act, state insurance law reverse preempts federal law that interferes with the business of insurance as regulated by the states.  This issue comes up in conflicts between anti-arbitration provisions in certain … Continue Reading
LexBlog