7 F.3d 882 (9th Cir. 1993), 92-55605, Garrett v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc.

Docket Nº92-55605.
Citation7 F.3d 882
Party NameSteve GARRETT, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. MERRILL LYNCH, PIERCE, FENNER & SMITH, INC.; Charles Partain; Gordon Williams, Defendants-Appellees.
Case DateOctober 19, 1993
CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Page 882

7 F.3d 882 (9th Cir. 1993)

Steve GARRETT, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

MERRILL LYNCH, PIERCE, FENNER & SMITH, INC.; Charles

Partain; Gordon Williams, Defendants-Appellees.

No. 92-55605.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

October 19, 1993

Submitted Oct. 5, 1993[*]

Page 883

Lloyd C. Ownbey, Jr., Pasadena, CA, for plaintiff-appellant.

Robert D. Feighner and Timothy N. Will, Keesal, Young & Logan, Long Beach, CA, for defendants-appellees.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Ronald S.W. Lew, District Judge, Presiding.

Before: SKOPIL, HALL, and RYMER, Circuit Judges.

CYNTHIA HOLCOMB HALL, Circuit Judge:

Steve Garrett appeals the district court's dismissal of his petition to vacate an arbitration award entered in favor of Garrett's employer, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc. Because the district court correctly determined that it had no subject-matter jurisdiction over Garrett's petition, we affirm.

I.

On July 9, 1991, Garrett filed a statement of claim against Merrill Lynch with the director of arbitration for the National Association of Securities Dealers. Garrett alleged that Merrill Lynch had terminated him for reporting to management the illegal "churning" activities of another Merrill Lynch employee.

A three-person panel heard Garrett's arguments and dismissed his claim. Garrett filed a petition in the district court to vacate the arbitration award pursuant to § 10 of the Federal Arbitration Act (the "Act"), 9 U.S.C. §§ 1-16 (1988 & Supp.1990), on the ground that the arbitrators were biased. 1 The district court determined that the Act does not confer independent federal-question jurisdiction and dismissed the petition. We review de novo the district court's resolution of this legal question. E.g., Reebok Int'l v. Marnatech Enters., 970 F.2d 552, 554 (9th Cir.1992).

II.

Section 10 of the Federal Arbitration Act, which sets forth grounds for vacating an arbitration award, appears on its face to confer subject-matter jurisdiction on the federal courts. Under § 10, "the United States court in and for the district wherein the award was made may make an order vacating the award upon the application of any party to the arbitration." 9 U.S.C. § 10 (Supp.1993). Garrett therefore argues that, given the plain language of this provision, the district court erred in dismissing his petition for lack of jurisdiction. Because Garrett's contention ignores compelling precedent to the contrary, we disagree.

The Supreme Court has consistently held that federal courts may hear claims under the Act only when there is an independent basis for federal jurisdiction. In Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital v. Mercury Construction Corp., 460 U.S. 1, 103 S.Ct. 927, 74 L.Ed.2d 765 (1983), the Court recently reiterated the Act's unusual jurisdictional requirements:

The Arbitration Act is something of an anomaly in the field of federal-court jurisdiction. It creates a body of federal substantive law establishing and regulating the duty to honor an agreement to arbitrate, yet it does not create any independent federal-question jurisdiction.... [T]here must be diversity of citizenship or some other independent basis for federal jurisdiction.

Id., 460 U.S. at 25 n. 32, 103 S.Ct. at 942 n. 32, 74 L.Ed.2d 765 (1982). Accord Southland Corp. v. Keating, 465 U.S. 1, 15 n. 9, 104 S.Ct. 852, 861 n. 9, 79 L.Ed.2d 1 (1984). Several Ninth Circuit decisions have interpreted

Page 884

the Act in a similar fashion. See, e.g., Pacific Reinsurance Management Corp. v. Ohio Reinsurance Corp., 935 F.2d 1019, 1021 (9th Cir.1991); Kehr v. Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co., 736 F.2d 1283, 1287 (9th Cir.1984); General Atomic Co. v. United Nuclear Corp., 655 F.2d 968, 969 (9th Cir.1981), cert. denied, 455 U.S. 948, 102 S.Ct. 1449, 71 L.Ed.2d 662 (1982).

Garrett asserts that we should distinguish these decisions because they involve provisions of the Act other than § 10. We decline to do so for several reasons. First, the Court has unequivocally held that the Act "does not create any independent federal-question jurisdiction." Southland Corp., 465 U.S. at 15 n. 9, 104 S.Ct. at 861 n. 9 (emphasis added); Moses H. Cone, 460 U.S. at 25 n. 32, 103 S.Ct. at 942 n. 32.

Second, courts in other circuits have addressed this...

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  • 131 F.Supp.2d 1180 (C.D.Cal. 2001), CV 00-9588, Goodman v. CIBC Oppenheimer & Co.
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 9th Circuit Central District of California
    • February 12, 2001
    ...between the parties." [Citations.] Id., at 16 n. 9, 104 S.Ct. 852. Accord Garrett v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc., 7 F.3d 882, 883 (9th Cir. 1993). In Garrett, the Ninth Circuit Finally, we think that a narrow interpretation of § 10 is consistent with the limited nat......
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    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
    • April 22, 2009
    ...arbitration or to confirm or vacate arbitration awards, see 9 U.S.C. § 4; Garrett v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc., 7 F.3d 882, 883-84 (9th Cir.1993), nor does it create a federal cause of action giving rise to federal question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331. See Kehr......
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    ...Act does not constitute a grant of subject matter jurisdiction. Garrett v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc., 7 F.3d 882, 884 (9th Cir.1993); Harry Hoffman Printing, Inc. v. Graphic Communications, Int'l Union, Local 261, 912 F.2d 608, 611 (2d Cir.1990......
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    • February 6, 2014
    ...25 n. 32, (1983)); Southland Corp. v. Keating, 465 U.S. 1, 15 n. 9 (1984); and Garrett v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc., 7 F.3d 882, 883-84 (9th Cir. 1993). Indeed, even if the underlying arbitration involves a matter of federal law, seeking relief related to the arbitrati......
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30 cases
  • 131 F.Supp.2d 1180 (C.D.Cal. 2001), CV 00-9588, Goodman v. CIBC Oppenheimer & Co.
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 9th Circuit Central District of California
    • February 12, 2001
    ...between the parties." [Citations.] Id., at 16 n. 9, 104 S.Ct. 852. Accord Garrett v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc., 7 F.3d 882, 883 (9th Cir. 1993). In Garrett, the Ninth Circuit Finally, we think that a narrow interpretation of § 10 is consistent with the limited nat......
  • 563 F.3d 907 (9th Cir. 2009), 05-56235, United States v. Park Place Associates, Ltd.
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
    • April 22, 2009
    ...arbitration or to confirm or vacate arbitration awards, see 9 U.S.C. § 4; Garrett v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc., 7 F.3d 882, 883-84 (9th Cir.1993), nor does it create a federal cause of action giving rise to federal question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331. See Kehr......
  • Walker v. USA Swimming, Inc., 030117 TNMDC, 3:16-0825
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 6th Circuit Middle District of Tennessee
    • March 1, 2017
    ...Act does not constitute a grant of subject matter jurisdiction. Garrett v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc., 7 F.3d 882, 884 (9th Cir.1993); Harry Hoffman Printing, Inc. v. Graphic Communications, Int'l Union, Local 261, 912 F.2d 608, 611 (2d Cir.1990......
  • Jenks v. DLA Piper LLP, 020614 CANDC, 13-CV-5381 YGR
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    ...25 n. 32, (1983)); Southland Corp. v. Keating, 465 U.S. 1, 15 n. 9 (1984); and Garrett v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc., 7 F.3d 882, 883-84 (9th Cir. 1993). Indeed, even if the underlying arbitration involves a matter of federal law, seeking relief related to the arbitrati......
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