June 03, 2014 Articles

Supreme Court Continues Down Pro-Arbitration Road

Business litigators need to learn the lessons of recent cases.

By Elizabeth S. Fenton and Shannon A.S. Quadros

Although arbitration features regularly on the Supreme Court’s docket, a number of significant cases have been before the Court recently. The gist of these rulings is a continued pro-arbitration approach, consistent with the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), 9 U.S.C. § 1. The Supreme Court also confirmed that parties to an arbitration contract are bound by the words of that contract. In addition, by denying certiorari in the Delaware Coalition for Open Government v. Strine case, the Court struck a blow to efforts by Delaware to entice litigants to bring commercial disputes to the state through a confidential arbitration program. The refusal to grant cert in the Delaware case indicates that, at least for now, there are some limits on confidential arbitration programs administered by courts. This article discusses the lessons of these cases for business litigators who frequently find themselves involved in arbitrations.

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