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Repeat Decisions By the Same Arbitration Service For the Same Client Does Not Equate to Partiality Sufficient to Justify Vacatur of an Arbitration Award

In the recent Eleventh Circuit case of Johnson v. Directory Assistants, Inc., __ F.3d __, 2015 WL 4939578 (11th Cir. Aug. 20, 2015), the Court, as part of its decision overruling the district court’s vacation of an arbitration award, commented that repeat decisions by the same arbitration service for the same client does not equate to partiality sufficient to justify vacatur of an arbitration award, particularly where the arbitration service uses a variety of arbitrators. This language should give business and industry comfort in knowing that their selection of one arbitration service for their contractual arbitration clauses cannot be grounds for challenges to that arbitration services rulings. Because many opponents of consumer arbitration argue that repeat arbitrations by the same forum represents a critical flaw in the system, this comment that evidence of repeat arbitrations before a single arbitrator or forum is not enough to show vacatur is extremely important.

At the Civil Law Notary Arbitration Association we are striving to maintain a robust roster of local, national and international civil law notaries to serve as arbitrators for a diverse variety of disputes. Should you select our forum for inclusion in your arbitration clauses, our arbitrators will bring both advanced legal education as well as, pre-screened and state-endorsed quasi-governmental official status to their decision-making and their lack of partiality will be most assured. The Johnson v. Directory Assistants, Inc., lends further support to the use of an arbitration service such as the Civil Law Notary Arbitration Association and will go a long way to protecting the integrity and enforceability of its arbitration awards.

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