IN RE: Application of STEVEN KESSLER MOTOR CARS

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Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York.

IN RE: Application of STEVEN KESSLER MOTOR CARS, INC., For an Order, etc. STEVEN KESSLER MOTOR CARS, INC., Claimant-Appellant, v. FERRARI NORTH AMERICA, INC., Respondent-Respondent.

Decided: December 23, 1997

Before ELLERIN, J.P., and NARDELLI, WILLIAMS, ANDRIAS and COLABELLA, JJ. Jerome M. Leitner, for Claimant-Appellant. Carl J. Chiappa, for Respondent-Respondent.

Order, Supreme Court, New York County (Elliott Wilk, J.), entered on or about November 8, 1996, which denied claimant's motion to continue a preliminary injunction against termination of respondent's franchise and denied claimant's motion to vacate the interim arbitration award, unanimously affirmed, with costs.

The record herein does not come near to satisfying the “clear and convincing proof” standard governing an allegation of an arbitrator's actual bias (see, Matter of Infosafe Sys., 228 A.D.2d 272, 643 N.Y.S.2d 585).   A colorful comment by the arbitrator, with respect to the credibility of claimant's principal, does not demonstrate bias or misconduct (see, Ballantine Books v. Capital Distrib. Co., 302 F.2d 17, 21;  Matter of Schenectady Police Benevolent Assn., 224 A.D.2d 908, 909, 638 N.Y.S.2d 795, lv. denied 88 N.Y.2d 806, 646 N.Y.S.2d 985, 670 N.E.2d 226).   We also find that the arbitrator correctly applied the terms of section 13(a) of the agreement to this nonrenewal of claimant's franchise, and not section 12, which governs termination prior to the expiration date.

We have considered claimant's remaining contentions and find them to be without merit.

MEMORANDUM DECISION.