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The sweeping concerns expressed by Claudia Salomon (in her August 7th Outside Counsel column) over the court ruling in Daesang v. The NutraSweet Co. are unwarranted. For one thing, a notice of appeal from Justice Charles Ramos’ decision partially vacating the NutraSweet arbitration award has only recently been filed—and appellate briefs are still in the drafting stage. Whether or not Justice Ramos’ decision has “strategic implications” for future manifest disregard court challenges very much remains to be seen. More importantly, the idea suggested by the author that Justice Ramos’ decision would or (even) could “affect New York’s reputation” as a hospitable venue for international arbitration is far fetched. The state and federal courts of New York are quite experienced and sophisticated in these matters.

They are very supportive of the process of arbitration and of New York’s outstanding cadre of professional arbitrators, while they also, quite appropriately, avoid acting like “rubber stamps.”

There is no doubt that New York state will remain a pre-eminent global seat of international arbitration.

Richard M. Berman
U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York