Arbitration and other videos


Search This Blog

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Precedent and Lawmaking in International Arbitration

International Arbitrators as Lawmakers by Rahim Moloo and Brian King.

The abstract:

Arbitration scholars and practitioners have, for many years, spilled much ink debating the role of arbitrators as lawmakers. The debate has tended to center on two questions involving the role of precedent. First, should arbitrators treat prior arbitral decisions as a form of precedent, and, if so, to what degree should they rely on them? Second, to what extent should arbitrators view themselves as precedent-makers: Is their role limited to deciding strictly the dispute that is before them, or should they take into account the potential impact of their decision on future awards? Coloring the debate on both questions have been concerns about the implications of the answers for the legitimacy of the international arbitration "regime" as a whole.

The debate has assumed more urgency in certain fields of international arbitration, such as investment treaty arbitration, where the recent availability of an abundance of public awards has spurred much interest within the international legal community. As discussed in this article, this development is unsurprising given that the publicity of awards is, in itself, one of the critical prerequisites to the possibility of viewing arbitrators as lawmakers.

While this Article will touch upon some of the issues highlighted above, its focus is different. We begin from the standpoint that regardless of whether, normatively speaking, one believes that arbitrators should perform a lawmaking function, the fact is that they do. Arbitrators regularly cite to prior awards, appear to consider themselves cabined by them to some extent, and demonstrate concern about the impact that the awards they render may have on the development of the law. Parties, for their part, pepper their pleadings with references to past awards where they are available, seeking to convince the panel to follow or distinguish what tribunals have done before. Given the reality on the ground, it seems appropriate to shift the inquiry from the whether to the when and the what. What kind of law do arbitrators make, and when do they do so? Is the process of arbitral lawmaking legitimate, and are all awards created equal as far as precedential value is concerned? These are the questions that this Article seeks to address.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Oil & Gas Investment Arbitrations

The Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Center of the University of Houston Law Center invitation to a conference October 31, 2014:

The oil & gas industry is one of the key feeders of transnational disputes. As a sector, the oil & gas industry is responsible by far for the most significant element by volume and claim value in investment arbitrations. This traditional role of the oil & gas industry as the bellwether of international disputes will only continue to grow in light of growing resource needs. This potential is reflected in the significant increase in oil & gas investments over the last 10 years. This conference addresses the cutting edge issues faced by the industry in the current market and political conditions focusing on the next wave of significant disputes faced by the industry. Discussion of these developments will provide counsel with insight into the current positions of leading players in the field.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Inherent and Implied Powers of Arbitrators

Loyola Chicago Law Professor Margaret L. Moses writes in her abstract:     

The powers of arbitrators are generally based on the provisions of an arbitration clause agreed to by the parties to an arbitration, including any arbitral rules chosen to govern the arbitration. However, because these short clauses cannot set forth every kind of power that an arbitrator may need in the course of an arbitration, he may have to call on inherent or implied powers. This article sets forth a framework for understanding what is meant by inherent powers and implied powers of arbitrators. The distinction is important, but many commentators and courts use the terms interchangeably. Basically implied powers are those that can be implied or discerned from a textual provision, either in the clause adopted by the parties, or in the arbitral rules chosen by the parties, or in the applicable arbitration law. Inherent powers are those that an arbitrator may need to call on when novel situations occur for which there is no specific rule or authority. In all cases, but particularly with respect to inherent powers, an arbitrator must act with caution not to overstep proper authority and thereby endanger the enforcement of an arbitral award.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Correcting a Flaw in the Arbitration Fairness Act

Correcting a Flaw in the Arbitration Fairness Act by Loyola Law Professor Imre Szalai. in the Journal of Dispute Resolution:

The Introduction:

The proposed Arbitration Fairness Act of 2013 will ban courts from enforcing
arbitration agreements in the employment and consumer contexts. This law will
protect America's employees and consumers by keeping the courthouse door open
to critical civil rights, employment, and consumer protection litigation. However,
the proposed Arbitration Fairness Act suffers from a subtle flaw: it is uncertain
whether the law will apply to the states. This flaw, which arises from one of the
greatest constitutional errors the Supreme Court has ever made, must be corrected
in order to provide the broadest protection to millions of American employees and
consumers, and to prevent years of needless litigation and confusion.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

New California Arbitration Statute on Consumer Arbitration Organizations

Robin E. Largent of the California Labor & Employment Law Blog writes:

in an effort to decrease the attractiveness of arbitration as a forum for dispute resolution, Governor Brown signed into law AB 802, which requires major arbitration providers such as JAMS and AAA to publish at least quarterly on their websites (beginning in January 2015) detailed information concerning arbitrations they have handled, including (1) the name of any non-consumer party involved in the arbitration (i.e. the name of the employer), (2) the nature of the dispute (e.g. employment), (3) where the non-consumer party is an employer, whether the employer was the initiating or responding party, (4) the annual wage (in a range) earned by the involved employee, (5) the amount of the claim, which party prevailed, and the amount of any award, including attorneys’ fees, (6) whether the employee was represented by an attorney and, if so, the name of the attorney and the law firm, (7) the name of the arbitrator and the amount of the arbitrator’s fees, and (8) the total number of times the employer previously has been a party in arbitration or mediation before the dispute resolution provider.  This new law has the obvious (and likely intended) effect of destroying the usual benefit of privacy that arbitration and mediation provide.

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich Against Adhesive Arbitration

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich is against arbitration clauses in adhesion contracts, which he calls "forced arbitration."  His video is sponsored by Alliance for Justice whose website provides no authority for its potentially-misleading assertions like "one study found that arbitrators rule for companies over consumers 94 percent of the time."

Friday, October 3, 2014

Precedent in Labor and Employment Arbitration

The Use and Abuse of Precedent in Labor and Employment Arbitration, 52 U. Louisville L. Rev. 431 (2014), by Michigan Law Professor Theodore J. St. Antoine.

The abstract:

Today I believe that the vast majority of arbitrators and advocates would agree that precedent has a salutary role to play in the arbitral process. The situation is different, of course, from the function of precedent or stare decisis (translated by a fabled country lawyer as “the mistake stands!”) in the judicial system. There, the hierarchy of courts calls for lower courts to treat as binding the decisions rendered by higher courts. And to maintain the benefits of uniformity, predictability, and stability in the legal system, even the superior courts are reluctant to overturn their own precedent except for some compelling reason.