Haynes Boone Partner Mark Trachtenberg and Counsel Christina Crozier secured a rare vacatur of an arbitration award in the Fourteenth Court of Appeals in Houston. In an April 14 ruling, the court found evident partiality by the arbitrator and reversed a $7 million arbitration award.
The case involves arbitration of a fee dispute between an attorney and his former client, represented on appeal by Haynes Boone. The arbitrator refused to recuse himself, even though: (1) the arbitrator had served as an expert witness in the underlying lawsuit, (2) the arbitrator alleged that our client personally owed him nearly $5,000 for his past expert services, and (3) the arbitrator failed to disclose that he had previously represented our client’s opponent in a lawsuit that was featured prominently on the arbitrator’s firm website.
A three-justice panel of the Fourteenth Court determined that the arbitrators’ failure to disclose his prior relationship with the attorney during the 2019 arbitration constituted partiality and necessitated the vacatur.
Trachtenberg represents major companies in high-stakes appeals. He is recognized as one of the top 100 lawyers in Texas and as one of the top appellate lawyers in the state by Texas Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters). He is ranked in Chambers USA, 2019-2021 (Chambers and Partners) for appellate law in Texas. Chair of the Houston Bar Association’s Appellate Section, Crozier is board certified in civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has argued cases before the Texas Supreme Court, the Fifth Circuit, and numerous Texas courts of appeals.
Law360’s coverage of the appellate victory can be viewed here.
Haynes and Boone, LLP is an international corporate law firm with 18 offices, spanning Texas, New York, California, Charlotte, Chicago, Denver, Washington, D.C., London, Mexico City and Shanghai, providing a full spectrum of legal services in energy, technology, financial services and private equity. With 600 lawyers, Haynes Boone is ranked among the largest U.S.-based firms by The National Law Journal, The American Lawyer and The Lawyer. It was recognized in the BTI Consulting Group’s 2022 “A-Team” report, which identifies the law firms that in-house counsel commend for providing superior client service.
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