When Arbitrators Exceed their Authority Under the FAA

By: Brennan C. Morrissett

Arbitration awards are often described as ironclad, with arbitrators’ findings generally not susceptible to challenge.  Historically, and as a matter of public policy, arbitral power is intentionally limited to only those matters the parties have specifically contracted to subject to arbitration.  This means an arbitrator has no power to rule on issues except for those expressly assigned to them by contract by the parties.  Challenges to arbitrators’ failure to observe this fundamental limitation led to several recent United States Supreme Court “exceeded authority” cases – one of four limited bases on which an arbitrator’s finding can be challenged.  These rulings give some much needed

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GDPR Issues in U.S. and International Litigation and Arbitration

On November 30, 2018, I had the privilege of serving as a panel member on an International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) presentation addressing GDPR in International Dispute Resolution.   The other panel members were: Robert Bond, of Bristows, in London, England; Alexandra Simotta, of Six-Group, in Vienna, Austria; and Janis Block, of CMS in Cologne, Germany.  The panel’s objective was to explore the issues arising under the GDPR in international dispute resolution, whether in arbitration or court litigation.   My responsibility was to offer a U.S. trial counsel’s response to the subject.   This article shares a few of the ideas raised during the panel, and a few which have occurred to the author in response to hearing from my fellow panel members. 

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