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]]> Home | Message Board Home Search Arbitration Investors Brokers Finance Law Compliance Archives Manifest Disregard Requires Conscious Ignorance of the Law

Ninth Circuit Reiterates Principle

Spicuzza v. Securities Services Network, Inc., 2002 U.S. App. LEXIS 4155 (9th Cir., 3/11/02).

Manifest Disregard * Award Challenge * Confirmation of Award.

Reiterating familiar principles regarding the manifest disregard doctrine, the Ninth Circuit holds that a party seeking to vacate an arbitration Award failed to establish that the arbitrators understood the governing legal principles and consciously ignored them.

In this unpublished Opinion, the Ninth Circuit affirms the district court’s denial of Gail Spicuzza’s motion to vacate an arbitration Award in favor of Securities Services Network, Inc. (NASD ID #99-02351, Seattle, 6/12/00). Spicuzza contended that the arbitration Award was in manifest disregard of the explicit statutory language of the Hawaii Blue Sky Law, which she claimed requires a finding that SSN’s rescissionary offer was insufficient. The Ninth Circuit reiterates the well-established principles that an Award will not be set aside unless it manifests a complete disregard of the law and that it is insufficient to demonstrate that the arbitrators may have failed to understand the law. Instead, Spicuzza was required to demonstrate that the governing principle was well-defined, explicit and clearly applicable, and that the arbitrators recognized the applicable law and ignored it. She failed to do so and lost. (L. Hest) (SLC Ref. No. 02-13-01)

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