RESCHEDULED: Functus Officio: Exploring Exceptions to the Finality of Arbitral Awards
Title: Functus Officio: Exploring Exceptions to the Finality of Arbitral Awards
Date & Time: Wednesday, June 16, 2021 from 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm ET / 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm CT
Location: Live online webinar
Faculty: Justin Fortescue, White & Williams LLP
Marianne Bradley, White & Williams LLP
Finality is, in many ways, the cornerstone of the arbitration process. One of the distinct advantages of arbitration is that it seeks to deliver the final determination of a dispute between parties by requiring that the award be ‘final and binding’. By agreeing to arbitrate, parties effectively relinquish their right to later seek judicial interpretation of an arbitral award. What happens, though, when a party to the arbitration argues that an award cannot be enforced – either because the award contains ambiguities, or because complying with its terms would pose practical impossibilities? To address these and other concerns, courts have created several exceptions to the doctrine of functus officio.
In this presentation, we will discuss three of the most common exceptions to functus officio – namely, scenarios where: (1) the arbitrator can correct a mistake which is apparent on the face of the award; (2) the award does not adjudicate an issue which has been submitted, then as to the issue the arbitrator has not exhausted his function and it remains open to him for subsequent determination; and (3) the award, although seemingly complete, leaves doubt whether the submission has been fully executed, an ambiguity arises which the arbitrator is entitled to clarify. We will use both existing case law and hypotheticals to explore why courts have found that an exception should apply and how these exceptions can impact parties’ rights (including rights related to confirmation and/or vacatur of an award).
White & Williams LLP
Marianne Bradley advises insurance and corporate clients on commercial matters. She represents major property and casualty insurers in complex coverage and defense disputes.
Marianne’s work includes advising and defending insurance carriers on a variety of both first-and third-party claims, including business interruption and civil authority shut-down claims related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
While in law school, Marianne was a member of the Moot Court Competition Team where she competed in both local and national competitions. Marianne served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Marjorie O. Rendell, of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She also served as a law clerk at the firm during her final year of law school.
Prior to beginning law school, Marianne worked for a large, national insurance carrier in the Office of the General Counsel.
White & Williams LLP
Justin Fortescue is a partner at White and Williams LLP and focuses his practice on reinsurance, D&O and commercial litigation matters. Justin prides himself on his ability to work with clients to devise practical solutions to complex problems and issues. Justin represents insurers and reinsurers in both arbitration and courts throughout the United States and has counseled clients on issues such as setoff rights in the context of an insurer or reinsurer’s insolvency, the applicability of the follow-the-settlements doctrine to a ceding company’s allocation decisions, accumulation of long tail losses and the application of a “bump-up” exclusion in a D&O policy. Justin has also performed significant work involving the Federal Arbitration Act – The Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the New York Convention) in conjunction with confirming/vacating reinsurance arbitration awards. Additionally, Justin has successfully negotiated global commutations with reinsurance companies from various countries including Korea, France and Bahrain.
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ARIAS•U.S. Arbitrator Certification:
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