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Court Upholds Agent Arbitration Award

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NU Online News Service, Feb. 27, 2004, 4:37 p.m. EST – A life agent from Argentina won a round in a dispute with a unit of American International Group Inc., New York.[@@]

The agent, Carlos Parra, has accused AIG’s American Life Insurance Company subsidiary of using improper methods to get him to sign a release form, then taking away some of his best agents. The Inter-American Commercial Arbitration Commission awarded $4 million to Parra.

ALICO asked the federal court to vacate the arbitration award, but the court affirmed the award, according to lawyers from Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman L.L.P., New York, the firm that represents Parra.

A spokesman for AIG declined to comment on the ruling.

Some of the legal arguments in the case have focused on questions about when parties involved in international commercial disputes can or must take the disputes before arbitration panels. R. Doak Bishop, a Houston lawyer, and James Etri, a Dallas lawyer, have published a paper that includes the ALICO case in a review of the case law governing international commercial arbitration disputes in South America.