SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California federal judge on Jan. 31 denied a motion for a preliminary injunction to stay a foreign arbitration between two parties currently involved in federal litigation, ruling that the parties’ contract allows for arbitration of any disputes to which the procedures set out in the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) do not apply and that the arbitration addresses issues separate from those in the litigation (Mastronardi Int'l Ltd. v. SunSelect Produce [California], Inc., No. 18-737, E.D. Cal., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16242).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Jan. 31 denied a petition to vacate a $9 million arbitral award and granted a cross-petition to confirm the award, holding that the arbitrator did not exceed his authority or commit any misconduct by holding the parties to the terms of one of several contracts they entered into (China Fortune Land, et al. v. 1955 Capital Fund I GP LLC, No. 19-07043, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18260).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Feb. 4 recorded a settlement agreement as an award of approximately $26.3 million in an oil company’s arbitration dispute against the Canadian government over investments in oil field development projects (Mobil Investments Canada Inc. v. Government of Canada, No. ARB/15/6, ICSID).
NEW ORLEANS — A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 4 denied a Chinese company’s motion for en banc rehearing of its appeal of the confirmation of an arbitral award, again rejecting the company’s arguments that the arbitral panel was unfairly constituted and exceeded its authority in issuing the award (Soaring Wind Energy LLC, et al. v. Catic USA, et al., No. 18-11192, 5th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 296).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia federal judge on Jan. 27 issued a stay of enforcement of a 53.3 million euro award the Kingdom of Spain was ordered to pay a Luxembourg-based energy company, pending its appeal of the award to a Swedish appellate court, noting that the company’s claims of potential hardship caused by a stay were outweighed by Spain’s demonstrated “pressing need” for a stay and the interests of judicial economy (Novenergia II – Energy & Environment [SCA] v. The Kingdom of Spain, No. 18-01148, D. D.C., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12794).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware federal judge on Jan. 28 partly granted a gold producer’s motion for modification of a stay granted in pending case involving a $1.2 billion international arbitration award against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and associated entities, modifying the stay to include the condition that it will be lifted if Venezuela seeks an extension from the U.S. Supreme Court for more time to file its petition for a writ of certiorari (Crystallex International Corp. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, No. 17-mc-151, D. Del.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Islamic Republic of Pakistan filed a motion on Jan. 3 asking a U.S. federal court to stay enforcement of a $6 billion arbitral award it was ordered to pay a mining company over a denied copper and gold mining license, saying the court should wait while an arbitration annulment application is resolved or dismiss the federal case for lack of jurisdiction or lack of full faith and credit (Tethyan Copper Company Pty Limited v. Islamic Republic of Pakistan, No. 19-2424, D. D.C.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on Jan. 6 filed a brief in opposition to a European creditor’s motion for reconsideration of a Delaware federal judge’s denial of its writ for attachment pursuing a foreign judgment, arguing that the judge correctly determined that the creditor’s collateral estoppel argument is without merit (Oi European Group B.V. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, et al., No. 19-mc-290, D. Del.).
RICHMOND, Va. — A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 13 for the second time vacated and remanded a district court’s grant of summary judgment to a debtor ordered to pay a civil judgment by an Iraqi court, finding that a genuine issue of material fact remains regarding whether the debtor defaulted his right to seek arbitration and, thus, the trial court’s ruling would undermine principles of international comity (Iraq Middle Market Development Foundation v. Mohammad Ali Mohammad Harmoosh, et al., No.18-2212, 4th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 1021).
LOS ANGELES — A federal judge in California on Jan. 13 declined to remand a breach of contract lawsuit to state court, finding that the agreement that was allegedly breached includes an arbitration clause that is within the scope of the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards and, therefore, the federal court has jurisdiction (Competent Software Pvt. Ltd. v. CoreLogic Solutions LLC, et al., No. 19-2161, C.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5621).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) ad hoc committee on Jan. 7 rejected an application for annulment of an arbitration award issued in 2016 in a dispute over a Chilean newspaper seized in 1975, noting that although the confiscation may have been illegal under Chilean law, there is no way to repair the damages via international law (Victor Pey Casado, et al. and Republic of Chile, No. ARB/98/2, ICSID).
PARIS — An International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) ad hoc committee on Dec. 12 denied an oil company’s request to lift a stay on the enforcement of a $39.2 million award an ICSID tribunal previously ordered the nation of Kazakhstan to pay related to a terminated oil exploration contract, enforcement of which was stayed pending Kazakhstan’s application to annul the award (Caratube International Oil Company LLP & Mr. Devincci Salah Hourani v. Republic of Kazakhstan, No. ARB/13/13, ICSID).
NEW ORLEANS — A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel in a Jan. 9 unpublished per curiam opinion affirmed a district court’s confirmation of an arbitral award, ruling that even though the arbitrator found, contrary to Texas law, that causation was required to prove unjust enrichment, the lapse did not rise to the level of “manifest disregard” that would justify vacatur of the award (Dynacolor Inc. v Razberi Technologies Inc., No. 19-10720, 5th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 869).
CHICAGO — A Chicago law firm on Dec. 30 filed a petition in Illinois federal court to confirm an arbitral award entered against a former client the firm represented in litigation against Wynn Resorts in Nevada for nonpayment of a contractually obligated $50 million contingency fee (Bartlit Beck LLP v. Kazuo Okada, No. 19-8508, N.D. Ill.).
SAN FRANCISCO — Heirs of two Saudi Arabian sheiks assert in a Jan. 16 appellant brief filed in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a district court committed reversible error when it dismissed the heirs’ petition seeking to confirm a nearly $18 billion arbitration award against Chevron Corp. and Chevron U.S.A. Inc. (collectively, Chevron) in a dispute over Saudi oil fields because the lower court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to confirm a foreign arbitral award (Waleed Al-Qarqani, et al. v. Chevron Corporation, et al., No. 19-17074, 9th Cir.).
ATLANTA — An insurer says in a Jan. 10 reply brief to the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a district court should have compelled arbitration in Hong Kong to resolve a claim for bad faith in failing to settle a lawsuit seeking damages for injuries that occurred during a cruise ship excursion (Lynn McCullough, et al. v. AIG Insurance Hong Kong Ltd., No. 19-12100, 11th Cir.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Canadian gold producer in a Jan. 17 reply brief asks a Delaware federal to grant its request for a modification of a stay of its case against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela over a $1.2 billion international arbitration because Venezuela offers “out red herrings in the form of made-up conflicts with Executive Branch policy and Delaware law” (Crystallex International Corp. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, No. 17-mc-151, D. Del.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the New York Convention) is silent about enforcement of arbitration agreements by nonsignatories, and so that is a “floor, not a ceiling, for enforcing arbitration agreements and awards,” Shay Dvoretzky of Jones Day in Washington told the U.S. Supreme Court Jan. 21 in oral arguments on behalf of a French company seeking to enforce an agreement that it did not sign on the basis of the doctrine of equitable estoppel (GE Energy Power Conversion France SAS, Corp. v. Outokumpu Stainless USA, LLC, et al., No. 18-1048, U.S. Sup.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware state court judge ruled Dec. 30 that a second arbitration between two oil companies over a contractual dispute was partly an “impermissible collateral attack” concerning a negligent misrepresentation claim in an earlier arbitration but held that breach of contract claims unresolved during the first arbitration were arbitrable (Gulf LNG Energy, LLC v. Eni USA Gas Mktg., No. 2019-0460-AGB, Del. Chanc., 2019 Del. Ch. LEXIS 1403).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 13 denied a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by Ukraine seeking review of an appellate court’s affirmance of the denial of a motion to dismiss a petition to confirm a $112 million arbitral award issued to a Russian entity in a dispute over shares in a Ukrainian oil company (Ukraine v. Pao Tatneft, No. 19-606, U.S. Sup.).