The doctrine of functus officio typically sets an arbiter’s award in stone: It forbids an arbiter from altering its award after the award has been rendered. But the doctrine has several exceptions. One such exception, known as the clarification exception, allows an arbitration panel to clarify an ambiguous final award. In Gen Re Life Corporation v. Lincoln National Life Insurance, the Second Circuit joined several other circuits in expressly adopting this exception, allowing an arbitration panel to clarify the meaning of its prior interpretation of rescission-clause in a reinsurance agreement. Hunton Andrews Kurth attorneys Syed Ahmad, Patrick McDermott, and David Costello discuss the decision and its implications for policyholders in their recent article, Arbitration of Insurance Disputes: Functus Officio and the Clarification Exception.
Since our first report last year, Lemonade Insurance, a tech start-up that planned to offer peer-to-peer insurance products, has launched in four states, offering homeowners and renters insurance in New York, California, Illinois, and New Jersey. Lemonade’s cutting-edge use of technology and its alternative business model could prove disruptive to the insurance industry.
My partner, Walter Andrews, recently commented in a Law360 article concerning the top insurance cases to watch in 2017. The Law360 article, titled Insurance Cases to Watch in the 2nd Half of 2017, features Andrews commenting on the impact of Global Reinsurance Corp. of America v. Century Indemnity Co., case number CTQ-2016-00005, in the Court of Appeals of the State of New York, where he points out how a win for Global Re could result in a huge windfall for the reinsurer by saving on its defense costs, since reinsurers typically must pay both indemnity and defense costs. Andrews also commented on Continental Insurance Co. et al. v. Honeywell International Inc. et al., case number 078152, in the Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey, noting the significant impact that choice of law could play on the outcome of that dispute.
On February 22nd, Hunton insurance team partner Syed Ahmad and Mary Borja of Wiley Rein LLP will be speaking at the DC Bar’s CLE program “What Every Litigator Should Know About Insurance and How It May Impact Your Case Strategy.” The two hour class will discuss what steps an insured should take to protect claims, the role of insurance in defending and settling claims, and how to preserve attorney-client privileges. To learn more about the event, please visit: http://bit.ly/2k8SCQT.
Date and Time:
Wednesday, February 22, 2017 from 6 pm to 8:15 pm
D.C. Bar Conference Center
1101 K Street NW
(Nearest Metro Stop: Metro Center 12th Street)
Washington DC 20005
Lessons from ‘Deflategate’: Drafting the right arbitrator picks, InsideCounsel
October 27, 2015
Article discussing the insurance implications from the NFL’s so-called “Deflategate” scandal, involving the alleged deflation of footballs used in the 2014 AFC Championship Game. The scandal resulted in a four-game suspension of four-time Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady. When Brady—through the NFL Players Association—appealed the four-game suspension as part of the NFL’s arbitration process, Commissioner Roger Goodell unilaterally appointed himself as arbitrator to hear Brady’s appeal. But Commissioner Goodell appeared decidedly biased against Brady. The arbitration illustrates a common struggle that extends beyond the woes of football fans, and highlights a key dilemma in the arbitration process: What can litigants do when facing a biased arbitrator?