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Appeal from District Court's Order Vacating Arbitral Award Based on Excessive Size

By FindLaw Staff on June 10, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Lagstein v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, No. 07-16094, involved plaintiff's appeal from the district court's order vacating an arbitral award on the ground of its excessive size and vacating a punitive damages award on the additional ground that the arbitration panel lacked jurisdiction to enter it after the panel had entered its compensatory award.  The court of appeals reversed, on the grounds that: 1) the district court erred in concluding that the size of the arbitration awards demonstrated manifest disregard of the law; 2) the fact that the majority of the arbitrators may have made a mistake in citing a benefit that plaintiff had not purchased did not establish irrationality of its ultimate conclusion that defendant breached its contract; 3) nothing in plaintiff's policy expressly withdrew determination of procedural issues from the panel; and 4) defendant failed to demonstrate either evident partiality or evident corruption in the arbitrators.

US v. Villasenor, No. 08-50541, concerned the government's appeal from the district court's order suppressing evidence in support of drug charges against defendant.  The court of appeals reversed on the ground that a search conducted after a border crossing qualified as a reasonable search under the extended border search doctrine.

West v. Ryan, No. 08-99000, involved a capital habeas matter in which petitioner challenged the district court's denial, without an evidentiary hearing, of petitioner's claim of ineffective assistance of sentencing counsel.  The court of appeals affirmed, on the grounds that 1) it was clear that defense counsel promptly made appropriate mitigation inquiries and did not wait until after trial to begin their investigation; 2) petitioner failed to explain how an evidentiary hearing would allow him to establish ineffective assistance of counsel; and 3) there was no evidence that counsel's actions somehow impeded a psychologist from performing a thorough neuropsychological evaluation.

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