With ever-increasing frequency, corporate counsel have included arbitration clauses in an array of contracts and agreements, helping avoid the costs of litigation and class actions. However, despite the many benefits of arbitration, corporate counsel must exercise caution when selecting their arbitrators. Arbitration awards, once final, are rarely overturned. This article highlights the pitfalls of arbitration by discussing the deferential treatment of arbitration awards in New York courts.

Public Policy

It is well established that alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, like arbitration, are valid and enforceable in New York.1 Like many jurisdictions, New York’s public policy strongly favors arbitration and courts give considerable deference to arbitrators and their awards. In fact, arbitration is not only favored in New York, but encouraged “as an effective and expeditious means of resolving disputes between willing parties desirous of avoiding the expense and delay frequently attendant to the judicial process.”2 Thus, New York courts drastically limit their review of arbitration awards, serving the goals of efficiency and judicial economy.3 Ultimately, this results in arbitration decisions that are seemingly impervious to judicial scrutiny.

Limited Review of Awards

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