Significant 2009-10 “Arbitrability” Cases in Federal Appellate Courts


Courts typically deal with arbitration-related disputes in two circumstances. First, when a party to a contract with an arbitration clause resists arbitrating a dispute, the contracting parties often litigate the enforceability and scope of the arbitration clause (i.e. the “arbitrability” of the dispute) before any arbitration proceeding begins. Second, after an arbitration panel renders its decision and issues an award, parties frequently turn to the courts in an effort to confirm, modify, or vacate the arbitral award. Because recent ABA panels have focused extensively on the second category of cases and the impact of the United States Supreme Court decision in Hall Street Associates, L.L.C. v. Mattel, Inc., 128 S. Ct. 644 (2007) on vacatur actions, the focus of this paper is on recent developments in the first category of cases regarding the “arbitrability” of disputes. This paper summarizes the “arbitrability” cases decided by the United States Supreme Court in the 2009-10 term, as well as the significant federal courts of appeals cases decided between January 2009 and June 2010, when this paper went to press

Presented at the American Bar Association Section of Business Law 2010 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California on August 8, 2010 as part of "The Cutting Edge of Arbitration: What You Need to Know". To read the full paper, click on the PDF linked below.


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