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Richard Foltz is a seasoned practitioner with wide ranging experience. While emphasizing technical and engineering issues, Rich has developed vast experience in tort, intellectual property and construction contract litigation, and regularly counsels clients in the construction and government contract areas.

NFL Mgmt. Council v. NFL Players Ass’n, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117662 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 3, 2015)

“Arbitration has been proven to be an effective way to resolve disputes fairly, privately, promptly and economically.”  So provides the preamble to the Construction Industry Rules of the American Arbitration Association.  A large part of the advantage of arbitration is the finality of the result, stemming from the lack of a meaningful appeal rights on legal issues, contractual interpretation, factual determinations, or the dispute resolution process itself.  Indeed, the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. §10, provides that an arbitration award is to be confirmed as a judgment unless one of four specific and narrow conditions for vacatur is met.

Probably the most notorious instance of an appeal of an arbitration award (and certainly the one most likely to come up in cocktail party conversation) was decided in September 2015 by Judge Richard M. Berman of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York – the successful appeal by All-Pro Quarterback Tom Brady and the NFL Players Association of Brady’s four game suspension based on accusations of complicity in a scheme to gain an unfair competitive advantage in an NFL playoff game.  NFL Mgmt. Council v. NFLPA, No. 15-Civ.-5916 (RMB) (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 03, 2015)  There, the Southern District applied the Federal Arbitration Act standard to its review of Brady’s suspension, the same standard of review usually applied to an arbitration award arising from a claim under a construction contract with an arbitration clause. [1]  But Brady, unlike the vast majority of parties disappointed with arbitration awards, succeeded in having his suspension vacated.  The NFL Management Council has appealed the Southern District’s decision, and the matter is currently on an expedited appeal track, with argument before the Second Circuit scheduled for March 1, 2016.Continue Reading Review Of Arbitration Awards: Lessons for the Construction Industry from the Tom Brady Case

An amended version of this post was published in the March 16, 2015 AGC Construction Law in Brief, the weekly newsletter for the Associated General Contractors of America.

Since 1994, Pennsylvania law has provided enhanced remedies for prevailing in a payment dispute arising out of a construction project.  The prevailing party in a recent jury trial discovered uncertainty in the precise contours of those available remedies.  There was no clear precedent governing recovery of fees of a testifying expert, necessary to overcome the complex accounting and delay claims asserted by the defendant in response to the invoice dispute, and the method of calculating pre-judgment and post-judgment interest and penalty interest under the statute.  Because of the large sums at issue, the difference in calculation methods was significant.  Entitlement to these matters was unclear in spite of 20 years of precedent under the Pennsylvania Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act.Continue Reading Analysis: Prevailing Party In Jury Trial Finds Uncertainty In Remedies Available Under Pennsylvania Contractor And Subcontractor Payment Act