The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sullivan, District Judge.
This case comes before the Court for consideration of
defendant's motion to lift
the stay, confirm the arbitration award, and enter judgment, and
plaintiffs cross motion to confirm the arbitration award in
part, and to vacate the award in part, and to enter judgment.
After consideration of the parties' cross motions, the memoranda
and materials in support, the responses in opposition, and the
replies in support, and for the following reasons, defendant's
motion is GRANTED, and plaintiffs motion is DENIED.
Plaintiff Linda LaPrade filed suit against defendant Kidder
Peabody alleging gender discrimination in employment. Per an
earlier agreement between the parties, and upon defendant's
motion, the court stayed LaPrade's civil action pending
arbitration on June 24, 1992.*fn1 Arbitration hearings
commenced in September 1993.
On October 8, 1999, after six years, the National Association
of Securities Dealers ("NASD") Arbitration Panel ("the Panel")
rendered its decision dismissing plaintiffs statutory
discrimination claims, as well as her defamation claims, in
their entirety. The Panel further ordered that defendant pay
plaintiff $65,000 inclusive of interest, that plaintiff pay 12%
of the NASD forum fees assessed, or $8,376, and that defendant
pay 88% of the forum fees, or $61,424. Finally, the panel
ordered that each party pay its own attorneys' fees and costs.
On October 9, 1999, defendant filed a motion to lift the stay,
to confirm the arbitration award, and to enter judgment.
Plaintiff filed a cross motion to confirm and vacate different
parts of the arbitration award, and to enter judgment, as well
as a motion in opposition to defendant's motion to confirm the
arbitration award. Plaintiffs cross motion opposes Kidder
Peabody's motion only in so far as it seeks to confirm that part
of the award that requires plaintiff to pay $8,376 in
arbitration fees. Thereafter, replies were filed by the parties.
A federal court may lift a stay of proceedings to confirm an
arbitration award. See Kanuth v. Prescott, Ball & Turben,
Inc., 949 F.2d 1175, 1178 (D.C. Cir. 1991) (district court
lifted stay of diversity action to confirm arbitration award and
order entry of judgment). Moreover, this Court stayed this case
pending arbitration and retained jurisdiction for purposes of
any appropriate proceedings upon completion of arbitration. See
LaPrade v. Kidder, Peabody & Co., 146 F.3d 899, 903 (D.C. Cir.
1998), cert. den., 525 U.S. 1071, 119 S.Ct. 804, 142 L.Ed.2d 664
(1999) (holding that court that stays civil action pending
arbitration retains jurisdiction to confirm arbitration award).
Further, pursuant to the NASD Code of Arbitration Procedure §
10330(a), the parties in this case agreed that any arbitration
award could be entered as a judgment in a court of competent
jurisdiction. Thus, this Court properly retained jurisdiction.
B. Standard of Review for Arbitration Awards
Generally, public policy favors leaving arbitration awards
untouched. See Wall Street Associates, L.P. v. Becker Paribas,
Inc., 818 F. Supp. 679, 682 (S.D.N.Y. 1993) (citing
Shearson/American Exp., Inc. v. McMahon, 482 U.S. 220, 226,
107 S.Ct. 2332, 96 L.Ed.2d 185 (1987)). In addition, a court
must confirm an arbitration award where some colorable support
for the award can be gleaned from the record. See Sargent v.
Paine Webber Jackson & Curtis, Inc., 882 F.2d 529, 532
(D.C. Cir. 1989). Arbitration awards are subject to "very limited
review" to avoid undermining the goals of arbitration,
namely, settling disputes efficiently and avoiding lengthy and
expensive litigation. Willemijn Houdstermaatschappij, BV v.
Standard Microsystems Corp., 103 F.3d 9, 12 (2d Cir. 1997).
Accordingly, reviewing courts have broad latitude to confirm
Concomitantly, the grounds for disturbing arbitral awards are
very narrow. The standard of review for arbitration awards is
articulated in the Federal Arbitration Act ("FAA").
9 U.S.C. § 1-14 (West 1990). Under the FAA, a court must grant a request
for confirmation unless the award is "vacated, modified, or
corrected." 9 U.S.C. § 9 ...