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Confirmation of Arbitration Award Upheld

In Oaktree Capital Mgmt., LP. v. Bernard, No. B207865, the California Court of Appeals for the Second District faced defendant's challenge to the arbitrator's award of $12.3 million in damages and $6.7 million in attorneys fees in favor of defendant's former real estate investment hedge fund for breach of his fidiciary duties.

As stated in the decision: "The law narrowly circumscribes judicial review of an arbitration award.  Proper grounds for vacating an arbitrator's award are statutory and limited...An award reached by an arbitrator pursuant to a contractual agreement to arbitrate is not subject to judicial review except on the grounds set forth in Code of Civil Procedure sections 1286.2."

Thus, in rejecting defendant's claim that the arbitrator exceeded her powers, the court held that the arbitrator's finding was a legal conclusion based on disputed evidence, which may not be reviewed even if the she was mistaken. 

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