Articles Posted in Arbitration & Mediation

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Husband and Wife signed an agreement to arbitrate the issues in their divorce under the Family Law Arbitration Act (FLAA). The family law arbitrator entered conclusions of law providing for legal and physical custody of the parties’ child to be granted to Wife, Husband to pay certain child support obligation, the division of the marital property, Husband to pay certain spousal maintenance costs, and Husband to pay $95,000 of Wife’s attorney’s fees. The trial court entered judgment in accordance with the arbitrator’s decision. Husband appealed the arbitrator’s attorney fee award. Wife cross-appealed other issues. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) in the appellate consideration of an FLAA award, the proper standard of review is the same standard of appellate review that applies to the review of trial court decisions in marriage dissolution cases; and (2) in this case, the family law arbitrator’s award satisfies that standard, and Husband failed to establish that the award of attorney’s fees is not supported by the arbitrator’s findings. View "Masters v. Masters" on Justia Law

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A company hired an accounting firm to provide auditing services. During the years covered by the parties' agreement, an employee of the company committed fraud and theft, causing significant losses to the company. The company alleged negligence, breach of contract, and unjust enrichment against the accounting firm and demanded arbitration pursuant to the agreement. An arbitration panel found the accounting firm negligent and the company comparatively negligent. The company then filed the present suit, claiming the accounting firm committed deception because the documents the accounting firm produced during the arbitration were misleading. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the accounting firm. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that issue preclusion barred the company's deception claim because the issue underlying the deception claim was the veracity of the documents produced at arbitration, which was necessarily decided by the arbitration panel. View "Nat'l Wine & Spirits, Inc. v. Ernst & Young, LLP" on Justia Law