When the 9th Circuit issued Monster Energy Company v. City Beverages, LLC, 940 F.3d 1130 (9th Cir. 2019), there was immediate concern over how far the decision would extend and how many cases it would spawn. The decision vacated an arbitral award in favor of Monster Energy. The court found there was evident partiality “given the Arbitrator’s failure to disclose his ownership interest in JAMS, coupled with the fact that JAMS has administered 97 arbitrations for Monster over the past five years.” Id. at 1132.
As the dissent pointed out, the decision left open a number of troubling questions. For example, “how many prior arbitrations must a corporation have engaged in with an arbitration firm for there to be nontrivial business dealings…that require disclosure?” Id. at 1141. Or “must prior arbitrations with the lawyers or law firms representing the parties also be disclosed?” Id. The dissent predicted there would be endless litigations to resolve the questions. Id.