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).