Topic: FAA

Section 7 of FAA: Are “Sitting” and “Seat” Synonymous?

Pursuant to Chapter 1 of the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”), arbitrators may issue summonses. If any person or persons so ‎summoned to testify refuses or neglects to obey the summons, “upon petition the United States ‎district court for the district in which such arbitrators, or a majority of them, are sitting may ‎compel the attendance of such person or persons before said arbitrator or arbitrators, or punish ‎said person or persons for contempt in the same manner provided by law for securing the ‎attendance of witnesses or their punishment for neglect or refusal to attend in the courts of the ‎United States.”  9 U.S.C. § 7. (emphasis added)

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Section 7 of the FAA: Compelling Evidence from the Recalcitrant Non-party Witness

Section 7 of the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) grants arbitrators the authority to ‎‎“summon in writing any person to attend before them . . . as a witness and in a proper case to ‎bring with him or them any book, record, document, or paper which may be deemed material as ‎evidence in the case.”‎1 It is generally accepted that § 7 does not empower an arbitrator to issue ‎pre-hearing discovery summonses seeking to compel the depositions of non-parties or to compel ‎pre-hearing document discovery.‎

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‎The FAA and the Bankruptcy Code: A Delicate Balance

With the specter of COVID-19 and its concomitant impact on the world economy, the US is poised to see an increase in bankruptcy filings during 2020 across any number of business sectors.  A debtor’s bankruptcy calls into question whether an arbitration agreement executed by the debtor continues to be enforceable.  The resolution of that question is factually intensive and involves the interplay between the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) and the Bankruptcy Code.

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