Swinehart, Ferrini, Aimonette, and Wysocki Score Recent Victory

September 19, 2018 / News

In a case recently handled by Clausen Miller attorneys Jim Swinehart, Joe Ferrini, Greg Aimonette, and Ken Wysocki, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued a significant decision relating to jurisdiction and international arbitration.  The Eleventh Circuit held:

One — A District Court has federal subject matter jurisdiction, under 9 U.S.C. §205, when (1) there is an arbitration agreement that may fall under the New York Convention, and (2) that arbitration agreement sufficiently relates to the dispute in that it may conceivably affect the outcome of the case.  This two-step inquiry is resolved based on a limited examination of the pleadings and removal notice.

Two — A more rigorous examination is required by the District Court to determine whether the parties may be compelled to arbitrate.  The Eleventh Circuit held that the New York Convention requires that the arbitration agreement be signed by the parties before the court or their privities.  Here, the appellee/defendant (a subcontractor for the construction of a mill) did not sign the agreement, so the appellants/plaintiffs (the mill owner and its insurers) could not be compelled to arbitrate.

Read the full decision

For more information about this case, please contact Jim Swinehart (jswinehart@clausen.com).

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