Archives: Federal Arbitration Act

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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

Umpire Selection Impasse? Second Circuit Directs District Court to Appoint Umpire

You are involved in a reinsurance dispute in arbitration. Both sides have named their party-appointed arbitrators and have exchanged umpire candidates. One side rejects the other side’s candidates because the objecting party believes that one or more of the candidates does not qualify as an arbitrator under the terms of the arbitration clause in the … Continue Reading

Too Little, Too Late: Post-Arbitration Award Frustrations

Armchair quarterbacking or second-guessing an outcome after an event has occurred is a skill displayed by many. The same is true following a reinsurance arbitration award. It is very easy to second-guess the arbitration award or wish that some evidence or testimony was presented differently. Anyone who has ever had an arbitration award that was … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Closes an Open Question: Grant of Motion to Compel Arbitration Requires Stay Not Dismissal

Sometimes when a reinsurance dispute arises one of the parties may decide to file a complaint in court rather than demand arbitration. This may happen in spite of an arbitration clause in the reinsurance contract. Perhaps one of the parties was not a signatory to the arbitration agreement. Or perhaps one or more of the … Continue Reading
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