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Current Developments in the Commercial Divisions of the
New York State Courts
Posted: January 30, 2017

Error of Law by Arbitrator Insufficient Basis to Vacate Award

On January 24, 2017, the First Department issued a decision in Matter of Yarmak v. Penson Financial Services Inc., 2017 NY Slip Op. 00433, holding that even if an arbitrator had made errors of law, that was not sufficient grounds to vacate an arbitral award, explaining:

Even if the arbitrators’ dismissal of petitioner’s claims prior to the completion of her case in chief violated Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Manual rule 12504, which provides that dismissals at such an early juncture are discouraged, the arbitrators were entitled to interpret the rule. In any event, any error in interpretation is a mere error of law that does not provide a basis for vacatur. The same holds true with respect to the arbitrators’ application of the Texas statute of limitations pursuant to the choice of law clause in the parties’ agreement.

(Internal quotations and citations omitted) (emphasis added).

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