Category Archives: Arbitration

Arbitration Clauses/The Punitive Damages “Minefield”

The conventional legal “gospel” with respect to agreements to arbitrate and arbitration proceedings is that such agreements/proceedings are governed by either the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules (the “CPLR”), on the one hand, or, where subject matter jurisdiction exists therefor, the Federal Arbitration Act (the “FAA”), on the other. To the contrary, however, a recent decision by the First Department is a stark reminder that both the CPLR and the FAA can be “trumped” by the rules of the arbitration forum designated by the parties.

In Matter of Flintlock Construction Services, LLC . v. Weiss, 2014 NY Slip Op 05818 (1st Dept. August 14, 2014), Supreme Court denied a petition to stay respondent’s claim for punitive damages. The petition was based upon the “legal sacrament” of Garrity v. Lyle Stuart, Inc., 40 N.Y. 2d 35, 386 N.Y.S. 2d 831 (1976).

Continue reading

Five Ways to Avoid Arbitration: An Overview of Recent New York Case Law

By Victor M. Metsch

There is no summary judgment, no appeal except in the most extreme circumstances, and the normative judgments of one person—the arbitrator—can easily overwhelm the rightness of your client’s case or the legal validity of your arguments.

Your client signed the arbitration agreement. But there may still be a way out under New York substantive law. For those cases not within the scope of the Federal Arbitration Act, here are five ways to avoid arbitration.

Continue reading