March 13, 2017 Articles

Expansion of Judicial Review of Arbitration Awards

Some courts stress that the benefits of arbitration would be lost if parties could require review of arbitration awards on the merits.

By Rory D. Cosgrove and Jason W. Anderson – March 13, 2017

Arbitration provides a way to resolve complex disputes expeditiously, giving parties the freedom to structure their dispute resolution on mutually acceptable terms that are precisely tailored to their relationship. Unlike in traditional litigation, parties can choose their decision maker (often an individual with specialized expertise), define the arbitrable issues, and select the procedures to be used in the arbitration. These attributes often encourage parties to forgo the traditional judicial process in favor of this faster, more predictable private process.

However, the benefits of arbitration come at a significant price to the nonprevailing party. The Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) and state arbitration laws limit the availability of judicial review to vacate an arbitration award largely to procedural irregularities.

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