Opposing Confirmation Of International Arbitration Awards: Is It Worth The Sanctions? - ARIA Vol. 17 No. 1 2006
J.P. Duffy - Litigation associate, DLA Piper US LLP, New York offices. The author has participated in international arbitrations conducted under the ICC, ICDR, ICSID and UNCITRAL Rules and specializes in investment disputes, with a particular focus on the power and energy industries.
Originally from American Review of International Arbitration - ARIA
In B.L. Harbert International LLC v. Hercules Steel Co.,1 (“B.L. Harbert”),
the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently ruled that parties
appealing decisions that confirm arbitral awards can be sanctioned for
undermining the twin aims of arbitration: (1) relieving congestion in the federal
judicial system; and (2) providing a speedier and more economical method of
dispute resolution.2 While B.L. Harbert involved a domestic award challenged on
grounds that it was rendered in manifest disregard of the law, the decision has
clear implications for international awards challenged within the Eleventh Circuit,
as well as for international awards challenged on manifest disregard grounds in
other federal circuits. This article examines those implications.
First, this article considers how the B.L. Harbert decision impacts challenges
to awards subject to the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of
Foreign Arbitral Awards3 (“New York Convention”) and the Inter-American
Convention on International Commercial Arbitration4 (“Panama Convention”) in
the Eleventh Circuit. Second, this article considers the impact that B.L. Harbert
might have outside the Eleventh Circuit in those federal circuits that permit parties
to challenge international awards on manifest disregard grounds. Such a review is
important, because B.L. Harbert may, rightly or wrongly, provide an avenue for
limiting manifest disregard challenges in those federal circuits.