Interim Arbitration Award Confirmed

Interim Arbitration Award Confirmed

Throughout 2022 and 2023, Trépanier Tajima LLP successfully obtained interim arbitration awards in favor of their client. To further protect the client’s interests, Trépanier Tajima LLP sought judicial confirmation of the interim awards to convert the arbitration award into an enforceable court order. This article discusses the appropriateness of seeking judicial confirmation of an interim or “non-final” arbitration award in the Ninth Circuit.
The Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) applies to contracts evidencing a transaction involving commerce. 9 U.S.C. § 2. Under the FAA, confirmation of an arbitration award is subject to what the agreement to arbitrate specifies. “If the parties in their agreement have agreed that a judgment of the court shall be entered upon the award made pursuant to the arbitration, and shall specify the court, then at any time within one year after the award is made any party to the arbitration may apply to the court so specified[.]” 9 U.S.C. § 9. Alternatively, “[i]f no court is specified in the agreement of the parties, then such application may be made to the United States court in an for the district within which such award was made.” Id.
Only courts have the power to enforce an arbitration decision and confirmation is critical for upholding the validity of arbitration. The FAA does not specifically address confirmation of an interim arbitration award . However, Pac. Reinsurance Mgmt. Corp. v. Ohio Reinsurance Corp., 935 F.2d 1019, 1023 (9th Cir. 1991) held that in some circumstances, “a temporary equitable [arbitration] award has an element of finality sufficient to be confirmed and enforced under the FAA.”

Pac. Reinsurance Mgmt. Corp. v. Ohio Reinsurance Corp., 935 F.2d 1019, 1023–24 (9th Cir. 1991) determined that “[t]emporary equitable relief in arbitration may be essential to preserve assets or enforce performance which, if not preserved or enforced, may render a final award meaningless.” In order to maintain the integrity of the arbitration process, “temporary equitable orders calculated to preserve . . . performance needed to make a potential final award meaningful . . . can be reviewed for confirmation and enforcement by district courts under the FAA.” Id.