Greenspan v. LADT, LLC (2010) 185 Cal.App.4th 1413

In an arbitration arising out of a real estate contract, GMSR’s client won an $8 million award. The defendants sought to vacate it on grounds that the award decided an unsubmitted issue, that the award was not rationally related to the parties’ contract, that the award was untimely, and that the arbitrator should have recused himself for potential bias.

The Court of Appeal rejected all of these arguments. It emphasized the arbitrator’s power under the JAMS rules governing the arbitration to interpret the parties’ underlying contract, their arbitration agreement and the arbitration rules they agreed to follow. On the recusal question, it found that the basis of the bias claim—a lawsuit the defendants had filed against the arbitrator because of his conduct in another arbitration—simply represented judge-shopping and could not support recusal. The opinion is noteworthy for its extensive collection and detailed discussion of non-California authorities relevant to these points.

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