Is Manifest Disregard of the Law or the Evidence or Both a Ground for Vacatur of an Arbitral Award* – Vol. 8 No. 3-4

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AuthorHans Smit*

Published: December 1997

Recourse Against Award Generally

Description: The Supreme Court’s rulings declaring arbitrable claims under mandatory laws continue to create substantial problems. In particular, they raise the question to what extent the findings of arbitrators in cases involving such claims are reviewable by the courts. In Halligan v. Piper Jaffray, Inc., the Second Circuit, per Judge Feinberg, directed vacatur of an arbitral award rejecting a claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) on the ground that “the arbitrators here manifestly disregarded the law or the evidence or both.” In so ruling, the Second Circuit not only gave renewed vigor to the dubious notion that willful disregard of the law justifies vacatur of an arbitral award, it also introduced a new ground: manifest disregard of the evidence.

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*Arbitral & Judicial Decisions
*Stanley H. Fuld Professor of Law and Director, Center for International Arbitration and Litigation Law, Columbia University.