Articles Posted in U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals

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Plaintiff filed suit against the Union alleging that it breached its duty of fair representation. The Union filed a motion for partial judgment on the pleadings, arguing that plaintiff's claim was time-barred. The court held that the statute of limitations on plaintiff's claim accrued when the arbitrator issued his final award even though the collective bargaining agreement provided that the arbitrator's decision shall be final and binding subject to appeal by either party. Further, a state court action to vacate the arbitration award did not toll that limitations period. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's grant of the Union's motion. View "Kalyanaram v. Am. Ass'n. of Univ. Professors at The N.Y. Inst. of Tech., Inc." on Justia Law

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The parties disputed ownership of life insurance policies and, according to their contract, submitted the dispute to a rabbinical arbitration panel. The arbitration panel appointed by the parties entered an award mandating the immediate transfer of the insurance policies at issue to Kolel and appellants subsequently appealed. The court concluded that the district court properly denied vacatur based on claims of bias and corruption; properly denied vacatur based on claims of premature decision and failure to consider evidence; and properly denied appellants' motion for reconsideration. Therefore, appellants have not presented any evidence that meets the high burden of proof necessary to vacate an arbitration award, and therefore the district court properly denied their motion for vacatur and granted Kolel's motion for confirmation of that same arbitration award. View "Kolel Beth Yechiel Mechil v. YLL et al." on Justia Law

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This appeal arose from an order of the district court denying Argentina's motion to dismiss a petition to confirm an arbitration award filed by Blue Ridge on foreign immunity grounds. The court held that it had jurisdiction to consider the district court's rejection of Argentina's assertion of foreign immunity under the collateral order doctrine; the court declined to exercise appellate jurisdiction to consider whether the district court erred in concluding that Blue Ridge, as an assignee, could state a claim to confirm the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes award because that issue was not "inextricably intertwined" with the district court's foreign sovereign immunity decision; the district court correctly concluded that Argentina waived its foreign sovereign immunity pursuant to two separate and independent exceptions to the immunity from suit provided by the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act: the implied waiver exception and the arbitral award exception, 28 U.S.C. 1605(a)(1), (2), and (a)(6). Accordingly, the court affirmed insofar as the district court concluded that Argentina waived its foreign sovereign immunity and remanded for further proceedings. View "Blue Ridge Investments, L.L.C. v. Republic of Argentina" on Justia Law

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E&Y appealed from the district court's order denying its motion to dismiss or stay proceedings, and to compel arbitration, in a putative class action brought by its former employees. At issue on appeal was whether an employee could invalidate a class-action waive provision in an arbitration agreement when that waiver removed the financial incentive for her to pursue a claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. 201, et seq. The court held that the FLSA did not include a "contrary congressional command" that prevented a class-action waiver provision in an arbitration agreement from being enforced by its terms. The court also held that, in light of the supervening decision of the Supreme Court in American Express Co v. Italian Colors Restaurant, the employee's argument that proceeding individually in arbitration would be "prohibitively expensive" was not a sufficient basis to invalidate the action waiver provision at issue here under the "effective vindication doctrine." Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded for further proceedings. View "Sutherland v. Ernst & Young LLP" on Justia Law

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These appeals arose out of LJL's exercise of its contractual option to purchase Pitcairn's ownership stake in a jointly owned high-rise luxury residential building in New York City, after which the parties pursued an arbitration to determine the value of the property. Both parties subsequently appealed from the district court's judgment. In LJL's appeal, the court agreed with its contention that the arbitrator's exclusion of Pitcairn's hearsay exhibits was within the arbitrator's authorized discretion and, therefore, vacated the district court's order overturning the arbitrator's determination of the Stated Value. The court agreed with the district court's conclusion that the arbitrator acted in accordance with the terms of the arbitration agreement in refusing to determine the Purchase Price and, therefore, remanded with instructions to confirm the arbitration award in its entirety. In Pitcairn's appeal, the court found no error in the district court's dismissal of Pitcairn's claims for breach of fiduciary duties and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "LJL 33rd Street Associates, LLC v. Pitcairn Properties Inc." on Justia Law

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This case stemmed from a maritime contract entered into by Blue Whale and Development. Blue Whale filed a complaint in district seeking to attach property belonging to Development's alleged alter ego, HNA, in anticipation of a future arbitration award against Development pursuant to Rule B of the Supplemental Rules for Certain Admiralty and Maritime Claims. The court concluded that the district court properly applied federal maritime law to the procedural question of whether Blue Whale's claim sounded in admiralty, and the claim did sound in admiralty because it arose out of a maritime contract; the issue of the claim's prima facie validity was a substantive inquiry; however, the district court's application of English law to this question was improper because the charter's party's choice-of-law provision did not govern Blue Whale's collateral alter-ego claim against HNA; and drawing on maritime choice-of-law principles, the court held that although federal common law did not govern every claim of this nature, federal common law did apply here, primarily because of the collateral claim's close ties to the United States. Accordingly, the court remanded for reconsideration of the prima facie validity of Blue Whale's alter-ego claim under federal common law. View "Blue Whale Corp. v. Grand China Shipping Dev. Co., Ltd., et al." on Justia Law

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After receiving an arbitral award against MatlinPatterson, VRG filed a petition in the district court seeking confirmation of the award in accordance with the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the New York Convention), 9 U.S.C. 201-08. On appeal, VRG argued that the district court usurped the Arbitral Tribunal's role when it decided that the scope of the parties' arbitration agreement - assuming there was one - did not extend to the dispute at hand. The court vacated the district court's judgment and remanded so that it could decide, in the first instance and on the particular facts of this case, who - the court or the Arbitral Tribunal - had the power to determine the scope of the alleged arbitration agreement between VRG and MatlinPatterson. This power - to determine the scope of any agreement to arbitrate - was to remain with the district court unless the parties agreed to an arbitration clause that clearly and unmistakably assigned such questions to arbitration. View "VRG Linhas Aereas S.A. v. MatlinPatterson Global Opportunities Partners II L.P." on Justia Law

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Goldman Sachs appealed from an order of the district court denying their motion to compel arbitration of plaintiff's claims of gender discrimination. Plaintiff and others alleged that Goldman Sachs engaged in a continuing pattern and practice of discrimination based on sex against female employees in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000 et seq., and the New York City Human Rights Law, Administrative Code of the City of New York 8-107 et seq. On appeal, plaintiff contended that the arbitration clause in her agreement must be invalidated because arbitration would preclude her from vindicating a statutory right. The court disagreed and held that the district court erred in denying the motion to compel arbitration where plaintiff had no substantive statutory right to pursue a pattern-or-practice claim. Accordingly, the court reversed the judgment of the district court. View "Parisi v. Goldman, Sachs & Co." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff appealed from the district court's judgment denying his motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and granting the motion for summary judgment by Lloyds. At issue was whether federal common law or state law provided the meaning of "arbitration" within the Federal Arbitration Act, 8 U.S.C. 201-208. The court held that the meaning of "arbitration" under the Act was governed by federal common law. The court concluded that the district court properly decided that it had subject matter jurisdiction over this suit by applying cases resting in federal common law and that the district court properly granted summary judgment to Lloyds. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Bakoss v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyds of London" on Justia Law

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This appeal arose out of a contract dispute between Costco and Leadsinger, a company that sold karaoke systems. Ipcon is the successor-in-interest to Leadsinger. On appeal, the court affirmed the district court's judgment granting Costco's motion to dismiss because Ipcon's claim - that Costco never intended to honor the relevant sales contracts - was a claim for fraud in the inducement, and thus - under the terms of the contracts and the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. 1 et seq. - must be considered by an arbitrator and not a district court. Because a district court has broad discretion both in finding whether a party had violated Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 and in deciding whether to impose sanctions, the court affirmed the district court's denial of Rule 11 sanctions. The court also denied Costco's motion for sanctions under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 38. View "Ipcon Collections LLC v. Costco Wholesale Corp." on Justia Law