New CA Arbitration Case

arbitration Jan 24, 2023
 

To do the best job possible as a mediator, arbitrator and referee, I review and summarize every new published California civil case. In this blog post, I discuss a new civil case that was published last month. 


Are There Limits on a Trial Court's Ability to Correct an Arbitration Award?

Arbitration awards are generally not subject to appeal, but they can be corrected by the trial court. Are there limits on the trial court's ability to correct an arbitration award? Last month, the Fourth District Court of Appeal published a new decision addressing this issue. To find out what they decided, watch the video and read my case summary below.

New CA Arbitration Decision  

E-Commerce Lighting, Inc. v. E-Commerce Trade LLC (2022) _ Cal.App.5th _ , 2022 WL 17547124:[1] The Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s order denying plaintiff’s motion to confirm an arbitration award, and granting defendant’s petition (supported by intervenor Banc of California, National Association’s (the bank)) to correct the arbitration award to eliminate the setoff awarded by the arbitrator. In 2015, defendant purchased plaintiff’s assets for $11.5 million. As part of the purchase defendant gave plaintiff a promissory note for $2.5 million. Defendant also obtained two loans from the bank, one for $5 million and the other for approximately $1.25 million. Plaintiff, defendant and the bank agreed that the promissory note to plaintiff would be subordinated to the bank loans. Plaintiff later sued defendant, defendant moved to compel arbitration, and the parties stipulated to arbitrate. The bank was not a party to the arbitration. Plaintiff claimed breach of the promissory note and defendant claimed breach of the asset purchase agreement. The arbitrator find in favor of both parties, concluding that defendant owed plaintiff $2,756,635.66 and plaintiff owed defendant $2,611,463.58. The arbitrator concluded that an offset was allowable, and issued a single final award of the difference of $145,172.08 to plaintiff. The trial court granted the motion to correct the award, and denied the petition to confirm it, because it concluded that the arbitrator’s setoff effectively allowed plaintiff to circumvent the subordination agreement with the bank. The Court of Appeal reversed. Per Code of Civil Procedure section 1286.6(b), the trial court could correct the award only without affecting the merits of the decision upon the controversy submitted. A party cannot use a petition to correct an arbitration award as an appeal of an arbitrator’s considered decision. Based on the facts presented, including that the arbitration parties had disputed whether a setoff was available, the Court of Appeal concluded that the correction affected the merits of the arbitrator’s decision and was therefore improper. (C.A. 4th, December 9, 2022.)  

[1] There is a dissenting opinion in this case.  

 

 


Mediation, Arbitration and Referee Services

I help attorneys and their clients throughout California serving as a mediator, arbitrator and referee at ADR Services, Inc., handling business, commercial, employment, insurance bad faith, insurance coverage, landlord-tenant (commercial and residential), legal malpractice, medical malpractice, personal injury, real property and wrongful death cases. I'm an expert in new California civil case law and using Zoom. I've been a California civil trial lawyer since 1980 and a member of ABOTA since 1995. I've represented both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of civil cases including the areas listed above. To schedule a new matter, please contact my case manager at ADR services, Ins., Haward Cho, [email protected], (213) 683-1600.  


California Case Summaries™

Since 2012, I've helped California lawyers easily keep up with the new case law in their practice areas by publishing California Case Summaries™ with one paragraph summaries, organized by legal topic, of every new CA civil case published in monthly, quarterly and annual subscription editions.
 
To have your best law practice year yet in 2023, start the year strong by subscribing to my unique publication California Case Summaries Complete™. You'll get all of my 2022 civil case summaries, and you'll get new civil case summaries every month and quarter throughout 2023. Knowing and applying the new case law will help you work up your cases better, make winning arguments, get bigger settlements and win more trials to make more money in 2023. To subscribe, click here.
 
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Until my next blog post, stay safe and healthy.


Best regards,
Monty A. McIntyre, Esq.
Mediator, Arbitrator & Referee
California Case Summaries™
Master Lawyer Mentoring™
CA Civil Trial Attorney Since 1980
ABOTA Member Since 1995
Past President San Diego County Bar Assn., SD ABOTA Chapter
Phone: (619) 990-4312. Email: [email protected]

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