Post-Award Matters - Chapter 11 - The College of Commercial Arbitrators Guide to Best Practices in Commercial Arbitration - 2nd Edition
Paul J. Dubow, Esq., Independent Arbitrator and Mediator, San Francisco, California
James M. Gaitis is the former Director of the International Dispute Resolution and Management Programme at the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy, University of Dundee, Scotland, where he continues to serve as a member of the Global Faculty.
James R. Madison, Esq., Independent Arbitrator and Mediator, Menlo Park, California
Christi L. Underwood, Esq., Independent Arbitrator and Mediator, Orlando, Florida
David E. Wagoner, Esq., Independent Arbitrator and Mediator, Seattle, Washington
In addressing post-award matters, arbitrators’ goals are to act promptly and appropriately while avoiding (1) alteration of the award, except on the limited grounds permitted by applicable law and rules; and (2) conduct that might give rise to allegations of partiality or bias.
This chapter addresses best practices for arbitrators faced with issues that arise after an award is entered. Section II addresses limitations on changing or altering an award. Unless the parties have agreed otherwise, arbitrators may not change or modify a decision on the merits of a dispute after a final award is entered. Such awards may be modified or amended only in limited situations, and such modifications do not include changing the decision. The permitted grounds for modifying or amending an award are found in the common law, state arbitration acts, the FAA, and sometimes in the rules governing the arbitration proceeding.
Section III addresses an arbitrator’s duty when a reviewing court remands an arbitration award. Although remands are rare, arbitrators should respond timely to a remand order and in accordance with the court’s direction, while following ethical guidelines. A checklist of matters for arbitrators to consider when responding to a remand order is included at the end of Section III.