On July 17, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed Simon Bloom and Troy Covington’s victory at the U.S. District Court where Judge Eleanor Ross confirmed the arbitration award in favor of our client OA Development, Inc. against Bamberger-Rosenheim, Ltd. Bamberger argued that OAD’s claims should not have been arbitrated in Atlanta under the applicable venue provision found in the parties’ arbitration agreement.
The Eleventh Circuit disagreed, holding that the arbitrator’s venue determination was entitled to deference. The court relied on well-established law that courts must defer to arbitrators’ determinations regarding arbitration procedures such as venue. The panel’s published opinion joined four other circuit courts of appeal in concluding that disputes over the interpretation of venue selection clauses are procedural and should be left to the arbitrator to decide as long as it was clear that the arbitrator arguably interpreted the provision in good faith. In this case, because the arbitrator plainly engaged with the language of the agreement and more than arguably interpreted the venue provision at issue, the court deferred to the arbitrator’s interpretation. Depending on further appeals, the District Court will next address OAD’s motion for attorneys fees against Bamberger.
Simon Bloom argued the appeal before the appellate panel on May 17, 2017 and Troy Covington authored the briefing.