Volume 27 (2010) / Issue 5
Jennifer Kirby, 'T.Co Metals, LLC v. Dempsey Pipe and Supply, Inc.: Are There Really No Limits on What an Arbitrator Can Do in Correcting an Award?' (2010) 27 Journal of International Arbitration, Issue 5, pp. 519–528
In T.Co Metals, LLC v. Dempsey Pipe & Supply, Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed a district court decision vacating an amended final award on the grounds that the arbitrator exceeded his power to correct his award by reconsidering and reinterpreting the record, rather than confining himself to correcting clerical errors. The Second Circuit found that, because the arbitrator had the power to interpret the institutional rules governing the proceedings, he could not exceed his power in interpreting those rules to allow him to amend his award as he did. The Second Circuit’s decision permits arbitrators to give themselves the power to reconsider decisions they make in final awards, thereby effectively allowing parties to appeal awards to the arbitral tribunal. Such a power is not found in any well-established arbitral rules, runs counter to the functus officio doctrine and undermines the finality of awards.
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