United States District Court, D. New Jersey
LOCAL UNION NO. 164, INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF ELECTRICAL WORKERS, AFL-CIO AND IBEW LOCAL 164 BENEFIT FUNDS, Petitioner,
ATLANTICOM, INC., Respondent.
Honorable Freda L. Wolfson United States District Judge.
MATTTER having been opened to the Court, by Zazzali,
Fagella, Nowak, Kleinbaum & Friedman, PC, counsel for
Petitioner Local Union No. 164, International Brotherhood of
Electrical Workers, AFL-CIO and IBEW Local 164 Benefit Funds
(“Petitioner”), on a Petition to Confirm the
Arbitration Award entered on July 3, 2017, by Arbitrator J.J.
Pierson, after a hearing held on May 25, 2017 (the
“Arbitration Award”); it appearing that
Respondent Atlanticom, Inc. (“Respondent”),
through counsel Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A., opposes
the motion; and
APPEARING THAT this Court's review of
arbitration awards “could be generously described only
as extremely deferential, ” Dluhos v.
Strasberg, 321 F.3d 365, 372 (3d Cir. 2003); and
“[t]he narrow circumstances under which a court may
vacate an arbitration award are defined exclusively in
Section 10 of the FAA.” Bellantuono v. ICAP Sec.
USA, LLC, 557 Fed.Appx. 168, 173 (3d Cir. 2014) (citing
Hall Street Assocs. LLC v. Mattel, Inc., 552 U.S.
576, 586- 87, 128 S.Ct. 1396, 170 L.Ed.2d 254 (2008));
Section 10 of the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”)
provides that a district court may vacate an arbitration
(1) where the award was procured by corruption, fraud, or
(2) where there was evident partiality or corruption in the
arbitrators, or either of them;
(3) where the arbitrators were guilty of misconduct in
refusing to postpone the hearing, upon sufficient cause
shown, or in refusing to hear evidence pertinent and material
to the controversy; or of any other misbehavior by which the
rights of any party have been prejudiced; or
(4) where the arbitrators exceeded their powers, or so
imperfectly executed them that a mutual, final, and definite
award upon the subject matter submitted was not made.
9 U.S.C. § 10; “In this regard, a court may not
review the merits of the arbitral decision.” News
Am. Publications, Inc. Daily Racing Form Div. v. Newark
Typographical Union, Local 103, 918 F.2d 21, 24 (3d Cir.
1990) (citing United Paperworkers International Union v.
Misco, 484 U.S. 29, 36 (1987)); “[a] court does
not review the award to ascertain whether the arbitrator has
applied the correct principles of law.” Id. at
24 (citing United Steelworkers of America v. Enterprise
Wheel & Car Corp., 363 U.S. 593, 598 (1960));
“[a]n arbitral award may not be overturned for factual
error, or because the court disagrees with the
arbitrator's assessment of the credibility of witnesses,
or the weight the arbitrator has given to testimony.”
Id. at 24 (citing Misco, 484 U.S. at 38;
NF & M Corp. v. United Steelworkers of America,
524 F.2d 756, 759 (3d Cir. 1975)); “the test used to
probe the validity of a labor arbitrator's decision is a
singularly undemanding one.” Id. at 24; and
APPEARING THAT in Opposition, Respondent seeks to
have the Arbitration Award vacated and remanded back to the
Arbitrator with instructions for an additional audit of the
Respondent's books and records to be conducted to
determine whether the proper wage scale was applied in
determining the amount of payroll deductions and
contributions required of Respondent; Respondent concedes
that its Opposition to the Petition does not challenge the
Arbitration Award on any of the grounds set forth in 9 U.S.C.
§ 10, [ECF No. 11, p. 2]; instead, Respondent raises the
novel argument that the Arbitration Award should be remanded
for re-auditing, reconsideration, and amendment on the basis
of a “post-award accord;” Respondent provides no
legal support for its novel theory, citing only, by way of
example, the case of Nevets C.M., Inc. v. Nissho Iwai
American Corp., 726 F.Supp. 525 (D.N.J. 1989), a case
with no bearing upon, and, indeed, with no reference to,
matters decided under the FAA; further, Respondent provides
no factual support for the existence of any post-award
agreement between the parties modifying the Arbitration
Award; THE COURT FINDS that Respondent has
failed to raise any basis for vacating the Arbitration Award,
which the Petition indicates, and Respondent's Opposition
does not dispute, was reached pursuant to an agreement biding