Challenges to the Arbitral Award - Chapter 7 - AAA Yearbook on Arbitration and the Law - 26th Edition
Originally from AAA Yearbook on Arbitration and the Law - 26th Edition
7.01 Statutory Deadlines for Submission of Application to Vacate or Modify Award
Domnarski v. UBS Fin. Servs., Inc., 919 F. Supp. 2d 183 (D. Mass. 2013)
An employer’s failure to send correspondence to the employee’s attorney instead of to the employee did not constitute “corruption, fraud, or undue means.”
Domnarski worked for UBS Financial Services. When employee ceased working for employer, employer demanded payment on the loans given to employees. The employer indicated that it wished to arbitrate. Employee’s attorney responded by requesting all correspondence be directed to the attorney. Employer continued to send all correspondence to the employee. Employee missed the arbitration proceedings and the arbitrator issued an award in favor of the employer on April 24, 2012.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) sent employee the award on April 27, 2012. Employee received the award notice on April 28, 2012. Employee’s attorney received the award notice on May 1, 2012 from the employee. On July 31, 2012, employee filed the instant motion to vacate. The court held that the three-month statute of limitations had past because the clock started when FINRA sent the award notice, not when the attorney received the notice. The employee could not toll the limitation period because the employee did not satisfy an extraordinary circumstances exception.
The court continued to say that even if the employee filed before the limitations period ended, employee failed to state an adequate “corruption, fraud, or undue means” claim. The employer complied with FINRA code and FINRA sent multiple reminders to employee to reply to all of the correspondences sent during the arbitration proceedings.