Supreme Court Denies Certiorari and Ends Bid to Vacate Arbitration Award

On January 8, 2018, the United States Supreme Court denied Bamberger-Rosenheim, Ltd.’s (also known as “Profimex”) petition for a writ of certiorari.  The Supreme Court declined to review the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirming the confirmation of an arbitration award in favor of OA Development, Inc. (“OAD”).  Profimex asked the Supreme Court to hear the case to consider the Eleventh Circuit’s holding that an arbitrator’s determination of arbitral venue under the parties’ arbitration agreement is entitled to deference.

Profimex had argued that the international character of the arbitration required the court to apply a more rigorous standard of review to the arbitrator’s construction of a venue provision because of alleged substantive consequences that attach to the venue of the arbitration in the international context.  The Eleventh Circuit had relied on well-established law that arbitrators are presumed to decide disputes regarding arbitration procedures and agreed with four other circuit courts of appeal that disputes over the interpretation of venue selection clauses raise presumptively arbitrable procedural questions.  The Supreme Court’s decision to decline review of the case allows the Eleventh Circuit’s decision and the reasoning behind it to stand.

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