Argued and Submitted October 8, 2013—San Francisco, California
Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Nevada Philip M. Pro, Senior District Judge, Presiding D.C. No. 2:06-cv-00225-PMP-PAL
Joshua D. Boxer (argued) and Robert W. Mills, The Mills Law Firm, San Rafael, California; Carolyn Beasley Burton, San Ramon, California, pro se, for Appellants Burton et al.
Carol P. LaPlant (argued), Berkeley, California, pro se Appellant.
Robert J. Bonsignore (argued), Bonsignore & Brewer, Belmont, New Hampshire, for Appellees.
Before: Dorothy W. Nelson, Milan D. Smith, Jr., and Sandra S. Ikuta, Circuit Judges.
Affirming the district court's confirmation of an arbitration award allocating attorneys' fees, the panel held that a non-appealability clause in an arbitration agreement that eliminates all federal court review of arbitration awards, including review under § 10 of the Federal Arbitration Act, is not enforceable.
Milan D. Smith, Jr., Judge.
Appellants Carolyn Burton, Robert Mills, the Mills Law Firm, and Carol LaPlant (collectively, the Burton Group) appeal from the district court's confirmation of an arbitration award allocating attorneys' fees. The Burton Group contends that the district court erred in declining to vacate the arbitration award pursuant to § 10(a) of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), 9 U.S.C. § 10(a). Appellee Robert Bonsignore counters that we lack jurisdiction to hear this appeal because the parties agreed to binding, non-appealable arbitration. Alternatively, Bonsignore argues that the district court correctly found that there was no basis for vacatur under the FAA.
This appeal presents a question of first impression in this circuit: Is a non-appealability clause in an arbitration agreement that eliminates all federal court review of arbitration awards, including review under § 10 of the FAA, enforceable? We conclude that it is not. Accordingly, we proceed to the merits of the Burton Group's claims, and affirm the district court's ...