I'm not scared, and I never guess (unless there is no law on point).
What I am is incredibly ethical. I will not mislead or misrepresent. If I don't know an answer, I will say so. Period. Now then...
Whether or not federal law applies depends on the issue in dispute. Title 9 U.S.C. § 1
confers jurisdiction of the federal Arbitration Procedures Act to any maritime transaction or other contract
in which parties are engaged in interstate commerce -- except
for employment contracts
. In such cases, where federal jurisdiction is conferred, then if the federal court
is specified in the agreement, then the award may be entered for judgment in that court; if no court is specified, then the award must be entered for judgment to the United States court in and for the district within which the arbitration award was made -- which in your case would likely be the NY Southern Federal District Court
. Title 9 U.S.C. § 9.
If federal jurisdiction is not conferred in the dispute, then the NY Arbitration Procedures Act would apply. Under NY Civil Practice Laws and Rules § 7502(i), to confirm an arbitration award, the proceeding must be brought, "in the county where at least one of the parties resides or is doing business or where the arbitration was held or is pending.
Thus the answer to your first question is that if the award concerns interstate commerce, then you will have to return to NY Federal District Court, unless the arbitration agreement states differently. And if the case does not concern interestate commerce, or is an employment contract, then the question is irrelevant, because in order for interstate commerce to not be involved, you would have to reside in NY.
Concerning the one-year issue., yes, the award must be confirmed within one year from the date of the award. This limitation is also controlled by Title 9 U.S.C. § 9.
Hope this helps.