Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Elements considered by courts in evaluating the results of an arbitration

Elements considered by courts in evaluating the results of an arbitration
2015 NY Slip Op 00444, Appellate Division, First Department

In response to a challenge to an arbitration award where the penalty imposed was termination, Supreme Court denied the Article 75 petition seeking to vacate and arbitration award

The Appellate Division affirmed the Supreme Court’s ruling, noting the following elements concerning the arbitration:

1. The selection of the Hearing Officer comported with the law, in this instance Education Law §3020-a[3][b][ii]).

2. The record showed that the individual “had an adequate opportunity to prepare for the hearing” in that he was sent the notice of charges and specifications approximately a month before the hearing and had “retained counsel over a week before the hearing.”

3. The specifications sufficiently apprised the individual of the charges against him, including the bases for the charges and listed specific dates that corresponded to numerous observation reports and letters in the individual’s personnel file.

4. The individual was able to mount a defense, called witnesses and his counsel had the opportunity to examine or cross-examine every witness.

5. There was no basis to disturb the Hearing Officer's credibility findings in favor of the Department of Education's witnesses

6. The Hearing Officer's determination was in accord with due process, rational, and supported by adequate evidence
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