Mistake of Law is Not Disregard of Law

California Court upholds arbitration award

Baraban Securities, Inc. v. Viersen & Watts, Case No. CV 00-02931 (WJR) (C.D. Calif., 4/18/00):

Baraban alleges manifest disregard of the law in its petition to vacate the underlying NASD Award (NASD ID #97-02538, Portland, OR, 2/23/00), claiming that the claims were encompassed by a class action lawsuit and that they were barred by statutes of limitations and the six-year eligibility rule.

In the compensatory damages award of $53,406.48, the Court finds signs that the amount is “in line with the damages arising from the Land & Cattle investment plus interest.” Land & Cattle was not part of the class action BSI refers to. Similarly, an issue of fact existed concerning whether an investment on the six-year cusp was made before or after the six-year period, which means the question lies within the Arbitrators’ discretion to decide.

The running of the statute of limitations also pivots on a factual question of constructive notice.

“Nothing in the record … suggests that the arbitration panel recognized the correct statutory period of limitations and then chose to ignore it…. At most, Baraban demonstrates that the arbitration panel made an error in the law.”

(SAC Ref. No. 2000-12-001)

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Securities Attorney at Sallah Astarita & Cox | 212-509-6544 | mja@sallahlaw.com | Website | + posts

Mark Astarita is a nationally recognized securities attorney, who represents investors, financial professionals and firms in securities litigation, arbitration and regulatory matters, including SEC and FINRA investigations and enforcement proceedings.

He is a partner in the national securities law firm Sallah Astarita & Cox, LLC, and the founder of The Securities Law Home Page - SECLaw.com, which was one of the first legal topic sites on the Internet. It went online in 1995 and is updated daily with news, commentary and securities law related links.