ABSTRACT: The Miami Arbitration Reports cover a number of topics, all of them relevant to the intersection between American law and international arbitration. This collection begins with a number of eye-catching decisions. First, the Sixth and Second Circuits have resurrected the non-statutory ground of "manifest disregard" for vacating an arbitral award. After what seemed like the final word from the US Supreme Court, it looks like the law is continuing to diversify and provide greater uncertainty. Second, the battle to obtain discovery in the United States in aid of private international Tribunals has started to really become interesting. At first, it appeared that the Federal courts would routinely enforce petitions for discovery, but the Southern District of Texas has taken a different path and laid down a challenge to other courts throughout the country. Third, the Fifth Circuit has defined the standard for non-signatories to compel arbitration, but the standard raises questions about the Federal policy favoring arbitration and conflicts over the effectiveness of the standard. And finally, in a case that is very important for those working with consumer contracts, the Eighth Circuit has taken great efforts to provide a workable standard for class action waivers. Then the Reports return to development of the case law after Hall Street. The Ninth Circuit takes up the challenge to interpret Hall Street and the definition of manifest disregard. After noting changes in the Second and Sixth Circuits last edition, the Ninth Circuit adds its voice to the conversation. Second, we profile the Arbitration Fairness Act and its potential effects on American law. With a new President and Congress, many people expect the Act to be passed, and it is crucial to understand it and how it can impact any arbitration with certain connections to American law. Third, the Third Circuit has delved into maritime law to decide how a party can secure a potential arbitral award by beginning proceedings against the ship. The decision has a complex factual and procedural history, and it has a significant impact for litigation arising from contracts on the high seas. And finally, the Eleventh Circuit has charted a course for courts to punish recalcitrant parties who abuse the appellate process by challenging arbitral awards under the manifest disregard standard. These cases seek to stem the tide of unnecessary appeals that dramatically slow the arbitration process. To finish the collection, the Reports conclude with a number of interesting cases. First, we discuss the decisions in both the United States and France regarding the ability of parties to blame the institution for aspects of the award or proceedings that do not work out according to plan. While none of the courts sided with the parties seeking relief, none of the courts closed the option. In the future, we might see more cases against arbitral institutions, and it is important to note the developing trend. Second, we return to the topic of manifest disregard one more time to see how another court interprets the Supreme Court's opinion in Hall Street. This decision is particularly interesting due to its discussion of the history of arbitration and the strength of the opinion relative to the other courts of appeal. Third, we venture into the world of labor arbitration. While many readers may not be particularly familiar with the topic, the Supreme Court has written a thought provoking opinion with implications for the international arbitration community. Finally, we analyze a recent decision from the D.C. Circuit that discusses two important topics: arbitration in the context of joint venture agreements and the length of time an arbitral clause can survive.
Revista Brasileira de Arbitragem