By: Daily Record Staff//September 22, 2023
By: Daily Record Staff//September 22, 2023//
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Mootness – Confidentiality
Stafford v. IBM Corp.
Judges Park, Nardini, and Nathan
Background: The petitioner is a former employee of the defendant who signed a separation agreement requiring confidential arbitration of any claims arising from her termination. After winning an age-discrimination claim against the respondent, she filed a petition to confirm the award, attaching it to the petition under seal but simultaneously moving to unseal it. The award was paid in full. Shortly thereafter, the district court granted the motion and the respondent appealed.
Ruling: The Second Circuit vacated and reversed. The court held that the petition to confirm her purely monetary award became moot when the respondent paid the award as there was no concrete interest in enforcement of the award to maintain a case or controversy. Furthermore, the presumption of public access to judicial documents is outweighed by the importance of confidentiality under the Federal Arbitration Act.
Shannon Liss-Riordan, of Lichten & Liss-Riordan, for the petitioner-appellee; Anthony J. Dick, of Jones Day, for the respondent-appellant.