March 2022 — Practical Law The Journal’s Winter 2022 issue featured a spotlight article by Chaffetz Lindsey’s Andrew Poplinger, Yasmine Lahlou and Silvia Marroquin titled “The Functus Officio Doctrine: Arbitrators’ Authority to Reconsider and Modify Awards.” This article originally appeared in Practical Law in October 2020, and the republication emphasizes the practicality and relevance of the functus officio doctrine.
The common law doctrine of functus officio provides that once arbitrators issue an award, their authority as arbitrators is exhausted and they no longer have the power to re-examine that award. While the doctrine recognizes the importance of upholding the integrity and finality of arbitration awards, it limits the ability of arbitrators to rectify mistakes in or otherwise modify a final award, even where a serious substantive error has been made. Counsel involved in arbitration should be aware of the parameters of the functus officio doctrine and the recognized exceptions to effectively address issues when bifurcating their cases and after the tribunal renders an award.
Read the complete article here.
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