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Articles Tagged with Arbitration

Illustration of computer monitor with six people video chattingPlease join KHF Managing Member Edward T. Kang (panelist) and Member Kandis L. Kovalsky (moderator) for an upcoming CLE, Next-Level ADR — The Future is Now for Arbitration in Complex Cases, during the NAMWOLF Virtual Annual Meeting, on September 16, 2020 from 4:00-5:00 PM ET.

The notable reasons for taking the arbitration route as opposed to heading to the Courthouse have only been exacerbated in recent months. We’ve seen what technology can (and can’t) do, what happens when the courthouse calendar gets further backlogged, and resources are slim. Where is arbitration heading in the legal profession?

Edward and Kandis will be joined by fellow panelists Nelson C. Bellido, Managing Partner of ROIG Lawyers in Miami, Florida; Marcus Wester, Senior Litigation Counsel, Harley-Davidson Motor Company; and Ingeuneal C. Gray, VP, Commercial Division, American Arbitration Association.

Flyer advertising CLE with panelists, date and timeKHF Managing Member Edward T. Kang and Member Kandis L. Kovalsky are both presenters in an upcoming CLE on the advantages and disadvantages of using arbitration as a resolution mechanism for complex commercial cases. Kandis also serves as Course Planner.

This 3-hour CLE will review the history of arbitration and the United State’s growing trend favoring arbitration. The panel, comprised of experienced practitioners and arbitrators, will discuss the preliminary conference, discovery, awards as well as considerations for increasing the efficiency in arbitration. Continue reading ›

In the January 23, 2020 edition of The Legal Intelligencer Edward T. Kang, managing member of KHF wrote “Beyond the Courts: The Potential Future of Arbitration

This recent decision has implications for how practitioners understand the court system and arbitration system to usually work, as well as raising already-existent questions about the fairness of arbitration clauses and its applicability for various types of claims.

In a recent decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, we saw a rare event—the court affirmed the district court’s decision to vacate an arbitration award in Monongahela Valley Hospital v. United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, AFL-CIO, CLC, ___F.3d___ (3d Cir. Dec. 30, 2019). This case exemplified one of the rare situations in which the courts have decided to exercise authority and “correct” arbitration awards that have appeared to be blatantly unfair, which could arise from a variety of reasons. This recent decision has implications for how practitioners understand the court system and arbitration system to usually work, as well as raising already-existent questions about the fairness of arbitration clauses and its applicability for various types of claims.

Monongahela Valley Hospital involved a dispute between the hospital and one of its “bargaining unit” employees who are members of the union under a collective bargaining agreement (CBA). About half of the employees of the hospital are supervisors who are not bargaining unit employees. The CBA governed the relationship between the hospital and the bargaining unit employees. The grievances centered around the hospital’s denial of a unit bargaining employee’s request for vacation due to a non-unit bargaining employee’s request for the same time off. The hospital denied the unit bargaining employee’s request because her supervisor, a nonbargaining unit employee, had requested the same week off and both could not be away at the same time. Using its authority to have the “final” say in the matter, the hospital denied the bargaining unit employee’s request. Continue reading ›

Webinar-FlyerKHF managing member Edward T. Kang and associate Kandis L. Kovalsky are both faculty members for the upcoming webinar, “The Complex Commercial Case in Arbitration,” sponsored by the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Litigation Committee as part of the ABA YLD’s 2019 Litigation Week webinar series. The July 22nd program will take place from 1-2 pm ET and is free of charge and open to the public, but does require advance registration. Kovalsky will serve as program moderator. Kang, a litigator and AAA arbitrator, will serve on a panel discussion that will tackle difficult questions such as how does the arbitration forum balance giving the parties access to enough discovery for a fair hearing while maintaining its core principles of efficiency? What happens when one party wants thorough discovery and another does not? Register for this free webinar here.

In the January 24, 2019 edition of The Legal Intelligencer, Edward Kang, Managing Member of KHF wrote “US Supreme Court Settles the ‘Wholly Groundless’ Exception. Or Has It?

In a recent article I co-authored, I discussed the “wholly groundless” exception to delegation clauses under the Federal Arbitration Act, “Should an Arbitrator Determine Arbitrability Where a Claim Is ‘Wholly Groundless’?” The Legal Intelligencer (July 26, 2018). There, I discussed the circuit split on this issue and that the U.S. Supreme Court would soon decide this issue for good. And the court has.

On Jan. 8, writing for a unanimous court in his first written opinion, Justice Brett Kavanaugh held that the wholly groundless exception to arbitrability is inconsistent with the FAA and, therefore, no such exception exists, see Henry Schein v. Archer & White Sales, ___ S.Ct. ___, 2019 WL 122164 (Jan. 8, 2019). The court held “when the parties’ contract delegates the arbitrability question to an arbitrator, a court may not override the contract, even if the court thinks that the arbitrability claim is wholly groundless.” In concluding this, the court stated, “the act contains no ‘wholly groundless’ exception, and we may not engraft our own exceptions onto the statutory text.”

While arbitration clauses are often a topic of concern in the consumer context, they can also be a major issue in sophisticated party transactions as well—the agreements where the arbitration clause is the least of everyone’s worries. In these transactions, whether they be in the employment context or otherwise, arbitration clauses are often treated as a throwaway for which a simple copy-and-paste will do. At that forward-looking time, arbitration seems like a sensible method of dispute resolution between two like-minded people, and it is given little emphasis. When the relationships break down later, as they often do, arbitration clauses become a major issue. Too often, one side wants to be in court while the other does not. They argue whether their dispute is subject to arbitration.

In the January 5, 2018 edition of The Legal Intelligencer, Edward Kang, Managing Member of KHF, writes A Primer on International Chamber of Commerce Arbitration for Litigators.

Arbitration, whether compulsory or voluntary, is commonplace these days as a less expensive and more efficient resolution to litigation than trial. Litigators in Pennsylvania are familiar with the Court of Common Pleas Compulsory Arbitration Program for cases with an amount in controversy of $50,000 or less. For cases with a larger amount in controversy, parties will often agree to arbitrate with a company offering a private arbitrator, such as AAA, JAMS and ADR Options.

In cases involving international disputes, the arbitration venues commonly found in contract include, the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC), Swiss Chamber’s Arbitration Institution (SCAI), Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), German Institution of Arbitration (DIS), Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC), Vienna International Arbitration Center (VIAC), International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), and the International Court of Arbitration for the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

The number of international arbitrations has been increasing due largely to the growing number of courts in foreign countries recognizing and enforcing foreign arbitral awards. An ICC arbitral award, for instance, can now be enforced in China, where its courts refused to recognize and enforce foreign arbitral awards against its citizens on many occasions.  It is becoming increasingly likely for practitioners to face a dispute over a contract providing for arbitration before one of these international forums. This is true even with smaller cases involving an amount in controversy under $50,000.

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In its August 11, 2014 decision in Griswold v. Coventry First, LLC, et al. the Third Circuit affirmed the District Court’s decision that denied Defendant’s motion to compel arbitration, and held that Plaintiff, Lincoln T. Griswold, was not estopped from pursuing his fraud claim by rejecting arbitration.

Griswold purchased an $8.4 million life insurance policy in January of 2006, establishing a Lincoln T. Griswold Irrevocable Trust for the “sole and exclusive purpose” of maintaining ownership of the policy. Shortly thereafter the formation of the Trust, Griswold formed a limited liability partnership in Georgia, Griswold LLP, as the sole beneficiary of the policy. Upon the receipt of the proceeds from the life insurance policy, this limited liability partnership would be dissolved, and the trustee would then liquidate the property, satisfy the claims of creditors, and distribute remaining property to the partners. At the completion of this task, the trustee would file a “Cancellation of the Election to Become a Limited Liability Partnership” to terminate the partnership.

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You have probably heard of class actions…but class arbitrations?

Class Arbitration Confusion

You have probably heard of class actions…but class arbitrations?
Class arbitration and its suitability as a vehicle for litigation is in flux as courts nationwide struggle to find common ground in the law.
A 2009 New Jersey matter involving a number of plaintiffs who had accused Fidelity National Financial Inc. and at least six other title insurers of charging exorbitant closing fees highlights this issue.  Continue reading ›
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