Today an en banc Fifth Circuit reversed a district court’s vacatur of an arbitration award for non-disclosure of the arbitrator’s prior professional association with the prevailing party’s lawyers. Positive Software Solutions, Inc. v. New Century Mortgage Corp., No. 01-11432 (5th Cir. Jan. 18, 2007) (en banc) (opinions here). Writing for the 11-5 majority, Chief Judge Edith H. Jones concluded that the Federal Arbitration Act "does not mandate the extreme remedy of vacatur for nondisclosure of a trivial past association . . . ." The Court also noted that "requiring vacatur on these attenuated facts would rob arbitration of one of its most attractive features apart from speed and finality — expertise."
Note: Blawgletter represents a party to the case.
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