Authority of the arbitrator

Authority of the arbitratorKimball v Pine Plains CSD, 272 AD2d 332 Kimball involves two common proceedings brought pursuant to Article 75 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules [CPLR]: one to confirm an arbitrator's award; the other to vacate the award. State Supreme Court Judge John R. LaCava had confirmed the award. Affirming Judge LaCava's ruling, the Appellate Division said that [a]n arbitration award may not be vacated unless it is irrational, violates a strong public policy, or clearly exceeds a limitation imposed on the arbitrator as set forth in CPLR 7511(b) or if the arbitrator exceeds his or her authority. When does the arbitrator exceed his or her authority? When, said the Second Department, the arbitrator gave a completely irrational construction to the provisions in dispute and, in effect, made a new contract for the parties. Here, said the court, the determinations made by the arbitrator were within his power and not irrational. Accordingly, the award was properly confirmed.

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