Litigation

Cal. Litig. 2023, Volume 36, Issue 2

A LITIGATOR’S GUIDE TO VACATUR: OVERTURNING AN ARBITRATION AWARD

Written by Dana Welch*

Despite your best efforts, you’ve come out on the losing side in arbitration. What are your options?

You can’t appeal an arbitration award like in litigation. It may seem counterintuitive, but the lack of appeal is one reason parties opt for arbitration in the first place. Court cases, including appeals, can take years to resolve. The average arbitration typically takes less than a year. At its best, arbitration provides efficiency and, importantly, finality allowing disputants to move on with their businesses and lives.

This article is the flip side to another article written by this author in collaboration with Charles J. Mosley and Kelly Turner: Understanding Vacatur and Applications for Vacatur (2023) Dispute Resolution Journal, volume 77. That article, written from the arbitrator’s perspective, explored how arbitrators can avoid applications for vacatur and vacatur. This article, however, written from the litigator’s perspective, focuses on the possibilities for overturning an arbitral award. We provide a guide.

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