Appealing arbitration decisions, for the most part, are a losers’ game. The standard for an appeal of an award is totally different from that of a court case. The term is “vacatur” which means the award can be wrong on the law, completely misapply is and it DOES NOT MATTER.
You read that correctly. It does not matter. What does matter, however, is whether the arbitrator had an undisclosed relationship with one of the parties, or my favorite, when the arbitrator has exceeded their authority.
However, if your arbitration agreement contains an appeals procedure, then you have a far better standard under which to operate. While an arbitrator may be protected by a court applying the proper standard for vacatur, an arbitration appeal panel is required to follow the contractual language of the arbitration agreement and the contract. In such a case, the arbitration cannot misapply the law, and an error of law can be the basis for this arbitration panel to overturn the arbitrator’s decision.