This posting is courtesy of Richard Reuben:
I want to make you aware of an arbitration amicus opportunity in the 2nd Circuit that presents both Stolt-Nielsen and Hall Street issues.
In brief, the arbitrator in this case, before Stolt-Nielsen, decided that an arbitration clause that does not expressly address class arbitration “did not prohibit” the availability of class actions. After Stolt-Nielsen, the defendant asked the district court in New York to vacate that ruling in light of Stolt-Nielsen. The judge did so, ruling that the arbitrator exceeded her powers by issuing a decision that contravened Stolt-Nielsen.
The main brief was filed on Friday, and argued that Stolt-Nielsen did not provide a basis for a review of the substance of the arbitration award and that if anyone needed to reconsider the award it was the arbitrator.
The amicus brief is still being drafted, but will explain why exceeding-the-powers review does not provide a basis to vacate the arbitrator’s decision, and why it would be inappropriate for new rules of law to provide a basis for re-opening decided arbitration awards. (Note there is a wrinkle on the last point in that the arbitration has not yet been concluded, although the ruling on the class arbitration issue is final.)
I hope you will consider joining this brief, which was developed in consultation with Paul Bland, Nina Pollard, Michael Rubin, Adam Klein, and myself. Paul Mollica, of Meites, Mulder, Mollica & Glink in Chicago is drafting the brief. While the list of participants may lean a little to the left, my sense is that the issues are basic and straightforward enough to cross any ideological divides within the field.
Please let Paul or me know if you have any questions. Paul can be reached at email@example.com. Do decide quickly, though, as the A-C brief is due on Friday, Oct. 22.
Richard C. Reuben
James Lewis Parks Professor of Law
University of Missouri School of Law
Columbia, MO 65211