United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
W. Grimm, Judge United States District Court.
Samuel David Young filed an application to confirm an
arbitration award against Respondent Jinesh Pravin
Brahmbhatt, Pet., ECF No. 1, and subsequently filed a Motion
for Default Judgment in the amount of $2, 010, 000, plus
additional prejudgment and postjudgment interest until paid,
Pet'r's Mot. 3, ECF No. 32. A hearing is unnecessary
to determine the amount of liability given the information
provided in the arbitration award. See Arbitration
Award, ECF No. 1-2; Loc. R. 105.6 (D. Md.). Because I find
that I have jurisdiction to confirm the arbitration award and
because Brahmbhatt has not responded and demonstrated any
basis for vacating the award, I will grant Young's motion
for default judgment, except with respect to his request for
additional interest beyond what the arbitration panel
November 21, 2014, a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
(FINRA) arbitration panel awarded $2, 010, 000 to Young, who
allegedly suffered injury from an illegal scheme orchestrated
by his broker, Brahmbhatt, the scheme consisted of
recommending the purchase of promissory notes issued by his
firm's parent company. Pet. ¶¶ 1, 3. The award
consisted of $600, 000 in compensatory damages plus 6%
interest per annum from March 1, 2013 until payment of the
award, $10, 000 in costs, $1, 000, 000 in punitive damages
pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) 9 U.S.C.
§§ 1-16, Securities Act of 1933, 15 U.S.C.
§§ 77a-77aa, and Maryland Securities Act, Md. Code
Ann., Corp. & Ass'ns Article §11-417
-701.1(b)(4); and $400, 000 in attorney's fees. Pet.
¶ 3. On October 28, 2015, Young filed an application to
confirm arbitration award against Brahmbhatt, within one year
of its issuance. See Arbitration Award,
Pet'r's Mot. Ex. A., ECF No. 1-2; Pet. Young properly
served Brahmbhatt on November 17, 2016, see ECF No.
30, who has failed to answer or otherwise defend. The Clerk
of the Court entered Brahmbhatt's default on December 14,
2016. ECF No. 31.
moves for default judgment with respect to his arbitration
award. The Fourth Circuit has stated that
[j]udicial review of an arbitration award is “severely
circumscribed.” Patten v. Signator Ins. Agency,
Inc., 441 F.3d 230, 234 (4th Cir. 2006). In fact, the
scope of judicial review for an arbitrator's decision
“is among the narrowest known at law because to allow
full scrutiny of such awards would frustrate the purpose of
having arbitration at all-the quick resolution of disputes
and the avoidance of the expense and delay associated with
litigation.” Apex Plumbing Supply, Inc. v. U.S.
Supply Co., Inc., 142 F.3d 188, 193 (4th Cir. 1998).
Three S Del., Inc. v. DataQuick Info. Sys., Inc.,
492 F.3d 520, 527 (4th Cir. 2007). The Federal Arbitration
Act provides that
[i]f the parties in their agreement have agreed that a
judgment of the court shall be entered upon the award made
pursuant to the arbitration, and shall specify the court,
then at any time within one year after the award is made any
party to the arbitration may apply to the court so specified
for an order confirming the award, and thereupon the court
must grant such an order unless the award is vacated,
modified, or corrected . . . .
9 U.S.C. § 9. “If there is a valid contract
between the parties providing for arbitration, and if the
dispute resolved in the arbitration was within the scope of
the arbitration clause, then substantive review is limited to
those grounds set out in [§ 10 of the FAA].”
Choice Hotels Int'l, Inc. v. Shriji 2000, No.
DKC-15-1577, 2015 WL 5010130, at *1 (D. Md. Aug. 21, 2015)
(citing Apex Plumbing, 142 F.3d at 193). Section 10
provides that a court may vacate an arbitration award
(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 ...