CINCINNATI — A Kuwaiti car dealer in a March 22 appellant brief urges the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to find that the Motor Vehicle Franchise Contract Arbitration Fairness Act (the Fairness Act) applies to foreign dealers and that a district court reversibly erred by ordering it to arbitrate breach of contract claims against Ford Motor Co. rather than first evaluating the claims’ arbitrability.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia federal judge on March 19 declined a motion by nonparty investment entities and their CEO for leave to seek an injunction of the Republic of Kazakhstan’s fraud claims against them in a New York state court, writing that the district court’s decisions confirming an arbitral award against Kazakhstan did not address the new state law claims and that high court precedent weighs against interfering with the state court proceeding.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 19 denied a motion for summary affirmance filed by two Swedish investors and their companies who argued that the Circuit Court need not hear the government of Romania’s appeal of a district court’s denial of its motion for relief from a previously confirmed arbitral award worth more than $356 million, which Romania contends is no longer enforceable because it has satisfied the award in Romania.
NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on March 22 confirmed an arbitral award in favor of an Albanian company for more than 900,000 euros plus $61,000 in attorney fees against a New York company for breach of a settlement payment plan under a previously issued consent award.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on March 22 said it will review a dispute over whether the federal statute governing judicial assistance in discovery for foreign and international tribunals applies to private commercial arbitral tribunals, the subject of a 3-2 circuit split.
ATLANTA — An insurer on March 17 filed a reply urging the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to dismiss as moot an appeal brought by a quadriplegic woman and her husband challenging a trial court’s denial of their motion to intervene in a lawsuit in which the operators of a tourist attraction where she was injured sought to halt arbitration, writing that because a Hong Kong tribunal recently found that the woman’s injury is not covered under the policy, the 11th Circuit can no longer provide any relief.
SEATTLE — An Indian state-owned corporation in a March 15 brief argues that a Washington federal judge should not substitute as plaintiff the U.S. subsidiary of an Indian telecoms company that won confirmation of an arbitral award worth nearly $1.3 billion and is currently in liquidation proceedings in India, and in another brief contends that it would violate international comity for the court to enjoin the proceedings in India as is sought by the subsidiary and the telecoms company’s Mauritian shareholders.
By Albert Bates Jr. and R. Zachary Torres-Fowler
NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on March 15 granted a Moroccan entity’s petition to vacate a Society of Maritime Arbitrators Inc. (SMA) award in favor of an Emirati company that did not respond to the petition because the parties’ contract did not call for arbitration before the SMA and the panel’s award did not address any of the petitioner’s objections to jurisdiction and arbitrability.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) tribunal on March 12 declined a group of Canadian and Cypriot investors’ request to order the Republic of Serbia to halt a criminal investigation into one of their witnesses in an arbitration over the alleged expropriation of their investment in a Serbian dairy farm, writing that the requested measures are neither “necessary nor urgent” and denying most of their post-briefing evidentiary requests.
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware federal judge on March 16 orally denied a motion by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, its state-owned oil company Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) and their U.S. subsidiaries to stay a sale of Venezuelan oil shares to satisfy a $1.4 billion judgment in favor of a Canadian gold producer while the Venezuelan entities’ appeal to the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is pending.
NEW ORLEANS — The alleged heirs of a Saudi sheikh write in a March 15 appellant brief to the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a district court reversibly erred by denying their petition to enforce an arbitral award worth approximately $18 billion against a Saudi oil company for the use of Saudi oil fields under a 1933 concession agreement and also say the court abused its discretion by striking their motion for reconsideration
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge in the District of Columbia on March 16 dismissed an action to confirm a $2 billion arbitral award against the Arab Republic of Egypt with prejudice after the parties submitted a joint stipulation indicating that all claims had been resolved under a settlement agreement.
CHICAGO — An Illinois federal judge on March 12 confirmed a $54 million arbitral award in favor of a Chicago-based law firm and against a Japanese businessman who retained the firm for litigation in Nevada but refused to pay a contractually obligated $50 million contingency fee after the litigation was settled four months later.
BOSTON — New Balance Athletics Inc. on March 8 moved to dismiss a petition filed by an Ecuadorian entrepreneur and his Peruvian business to vacate an approximately $3.3 million arbitration award in New Balance’s favor for breaches of a distribution contract and cross-moved to confirm the award, arguing that the plaintiffs’ petition is time-barred and that the court should defer to the arbitrator’s findings.
HOUSTON — A Texas federal judge on March 11 issued a one-page order denying a Texas company’s motion for reconsideration of his earlier ruling dismissing its action to confirm a $70 million arbitral award against a Russian oil company as outside the court’s jurisdiction due to the Russian company’s lack of sufficient minimum contacts in Texas.
NEW YORK — A New York federal magistrate judge on March 12 quashed subpoenas issued to Google LLC for a United Arab Emirates joint stock company’s online records to aid in the enforcement of an arbitral award worth more than $51 million because the subpoenas were issued by a nonparty entity before its substitution as plaintiff in the litigation.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina federal judge on March 4 adopted a magistrate judge’s recommendation to deny a motion to dismiss a petition to confirm an arbitration award brought by a North Carolina business after finding that the defendants had actual notice of the action and consented to service by mail under the American Arbitration Association’s (AAA) Commercial Arbitration Rules.
NEW ORLEANS — A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 10 affirmed a district court’s confirmation of an arbitral award against the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Venezuela and the court’s 2010 order compelling arbitration outside Venezuela because then-President Hugo Chávez’s influence made arbitration in the country “impracticable” in a way that was “unforeseeable” when a U.S.-based defense contractor entered the underlying contract.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) tribunal in an award published March 9 ordered the Kingdom of Spain to pay more than 30 million euros with interest to two hydro and wind energy investors for damages caused when it reduced incentive tariffs for renewable energy sectors, with one arbitrator writing in a separate opinion that more damages should have been awarded.