VRG Linhas Aereas S.A. v. MatlinPatterson Global Opportunities Partners II L.P., No. 12-593 (2d Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
After receiving an arbitral award against MatlinPatterson, VRG filed a petition in the district court seeking confirmation of the award in accordance with the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the New York Convention), 9 U.S.C. 201-08. On appeal, VRG argued that the district court usurped the Arbitral Tribunal's role when it decided that the scope of the parties' arbitration agreement - assuming there was one - did not extend to the dispute at hand. The court vacated the district court's judgment and remanded so that it could decide, in the first instance and on the particular facts of this case, who - the court or the Arbitral Tribunal - had the power to determine the scope of the alleged arbitration agreement between VRG and MatlinPatterson. This power - to determine the scope of any agreement to arbitrate - was to remain with the district court unless the parties agreed to an arbitration clause that clearly and unmistakably assigned such questions to arbitration.