Optional Arbitration Appeals: Principles and Practice

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Optional Arbitration Appeals: Principles and Practice

Joseph Aronds, Vice President and Chief Litigation and Trial Counsel, Hartz Mountain Industries, Inc., USA

This article examines the availability of optional appellate review of a final award entered in private contractual arbitration proceedings between commercial entities in the United States. Such appellate review is ’optional” because the parties must opt-in to the use of such procedures given that there is no general or automatic right of appeal on the merits from a final arbitration award under the Federal Arbitration Act (’FAA”). If the parties have not agreed to proceed under available optional appellate procedures to obtain a right to substantive appellate review of their dispute on the merits they remain subject to the limited rights of judicial review provided under the FAA. This article discusses reasons why the parties might elect to proceed under optional appellate procedures and having made that election, what the parties might expect to encounter when engaging in such appellate proceedings.

Joseph M. Aronds is Vice President and Chief Litigation and Trial Counsel at Hartz Mountain Industries, Inc., a commercial real estate development corporation based in Secaucus, New Jersey. In his practice, Mr. Aronds consistently handles multi-million dollar litigation and arbitration matters. He has been practicing in the field of complex litigation and arbitration for more than 31 years. Mr. Aronds has served as the president of the Association of Corporate Counsel - New Jersey, the New Jersey chapter of the Washington, D.C.-based Association of Corporate Counsel. Throughout his career, Mr. Aronds has been a speaker or panelist at numerous continuing legal education seminars on a variety of topics. Mr. Aronds received his undergraduate degree from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and received his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. In addition to his legal work, Mr. Aronds has authored and drawn an online law-themed cartoon, "Overruled!," several of which have been auctioned off to raise money for various charitable causes.

Hartz Mountain Industries, Inc. is one of the largest privately owned commercial real estate development firms in the United States. Further information may be found at www.hartzmountain.com

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