Attorney’s Challenges Re Arbitrator Result In Sanctions For His Client

Against a fact pattern that will make your head spin, a three judge Pennsylvania panel in Wallace v. State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance has affirmed a sua sponte award of attorneys’ fees against a party whose attorney raised “vexatious and obdurate” challenges to the arbitrator’s participation.

Court Rejects Attempt To Disqualify Attorney Who Urged Class Members To Pursue Arbitration

The United States District Court (Minnesota) on June 29, 2020 denied CenturyLink’s motion to disqualify a law firm that it contends sought to undermine a class action settlement by encouraging the class members to pursue individual arbitration claims (MDL 17-2795 (MJD/KMM). As the court held, “[o]verall, the Court finds that CenturyLink lacks standing to assert its motion for disqualification. Additionally, … the Court concludes that, overall, any harm to the administration of justice in this case is speculative and does not support the Court acting sua sponte to disqualify Keller and deny its clients their choice of counsel…”

Judicial Confirmation Of Arbitration Award Required To Provide Final Judgment

An employer who obtained a favorable arbitration decision in an employee matter failed to seek judicial confirmation of the award, thus no final judgment entered. Under California law, the absence of a judgment precluded the employee from appealing the lower court’s denial of his motion to vacate the award. Baah v. Sentinel Consumer Services, Inc.

Court Confirming Arbitration Award Not Permitted To Enter Judgment On Count Not Linked To The Award

In Chinlund v. Heffernan Builders, LLC, an Illinois appellate court held that, while it was appropriate for the trial court to affirm an arbitration award, it erred in entering judgment on a count for fraud when the award did not specifically attribute the award to the fraud count.