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Abstract

In B.L. Harbert Int'l. v. Hercules Steel Co., the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals seemed angered by what they deemed to be another frivolous appeal of a commercial arbitration award. Upon this provocation, the court warned litigants that future baseless appeals would be met with sanctions. By making sanctions a real threat, the court has attempted to promote some goals of arbitration, including finality, but any benefits derived may be offset by the increased confusion the holding has created. Further, the court's mandate represents a divergence from Eleventh Circuit precedent, as past decisions indicated a willingness to hear new arguments and new theories. The court's holding will not cap the number of claims for vacatur as litigants with legitimate claims will merely modify their arguments to accommodate the new standard.

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