In What Circumstances Can Arbitration Award Be Vacated In New York ?

In Hackett v. Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, 86 N.Y.2d 146, 154, 630 N.Y.S.2d 274, 654 N.E.2d 95 [1995], the Court of Appeals set forth the standard for vacating an arbitration award under New York law. An arbitration award can be vacated under CPLR 7511 if: (1) the rights of a party were prejudiced by corruption, fraud or misconduct in procuring the award, or by the partiality of the arbitrator; (2) the arbitrator exceeded his or her power or failed to make a final and definite award; or (3) the arbitration suffered from an unwaived procedural defect. Even where the arbitrator makes a mistake of fact or law, or disregards the plain words of the parties' agreement, the award is not subject to vacatur "unless the court concludes that it is totally irrational or violative of a strong public policy" and thus in excess of the arbitrator's powers. (Hackett at 154-55).