Ameriprise sought vacatur of the award under grounds set forth in the FAA, namely fraud, evident partiality, arbitrator misconduct, and exceeding of powers. In refusing Ameriprise's request, the court first noted that judicial review of an arbitral award is "among the narrowest known in the law" and is "exceedingly deferential." This standard "ensures arbitration's essential virtue of resolving disputes straight away is maintained and avoids costly full-bore legal and evidentiary appeals." With respect to Ameriprise's claim that there was "evident partiality" on the part of one of the arbitrators, the court rejected it due to its "broad and speculative nature" and because the facts underlying the claim could have been discovered prior to the arbitration by "the most basic method of contemporary due diligence: a Google search." With regard to Ameriprise's argument that the panel engaged in "misconduct" by declining to give due weight to evidence in support of its case, the court declined Ameriprise's invitation to "conduct a post-mortem of the arbitrators' cognition processes and how they reached their decision." As to Ameriprise's argument regarding fraud, the court held that Ameriprise failed to present "clear and convincing evidence." The court, however, did reverse the arbitration panel's award of $123,712 in attorney's fees, which the court declared was either in excess of the powers of the panel, or in manifest disregard of the law. Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. v. Brady, Case No. 18-10337-DPW (USDC D. Mass. Sept. 11, 2018).
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