In The News

News - 2016

July. 2016

Seth Robbins quoted in article on federal court ruling denying removal of arbitrator

Seth J. Robbins was quoted in a Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly article on a federal court ruling denying a party's request to remove an arbitrator prior to the arbitration panel's award.

The federal judge ruled that the Federal Arbitration Act did not authorize the pre-award removal of the contested arbitrator. The insurance company party argued that the arbitrator failed to meet the qualifications stated in the arbitration agreement.

The ruling raises the question of what the insurance company can do following the court's refusal to remove the arbitrator, especially if it thinks the arbitration is "tainted" from the start, Mr. Robbins told the publication.

He indicated that, depending on the language in the arbitration agreement, the insurance company may be able to commence a separate arbitration to resolve the dispute over the qualifications of arbitrators under the agreement.

“Let’s say an arbitration panel comes back and says here is what we believe this [arbitrator qualification] clause means,” Robbins said in the article published in the July 11, 2016 issue. “Then [the opposing party] is on notice that there’s an award in place essentially saying that your appointee is invalid.”

Mr. Robbins, a partner at the firm, specializes in handling complex civil and criminal litigation in state and federal courts throughout the country. He has extensive experience in trial and appellate practice, alternative dispute resolution, expert witness development and litigation management.