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Arbitration and the U.S. Supreme Court: A Plea for Statutory Reform

NCJ Number
Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution Volume: 5 Issue: 2 Dated: (1990) Pages: 231-275
T E Carbonneau
Date Published
45 pages
This analysis of judicial doctrine concerning arbitration concludes that arbitration is a necessary and useful method of dispute resolution but that the United States Supreme Court has overemphasized its merits and overlooked the need for regulation of arbitral processes.
The Court favors arbitration because it can reduce judicial caseloads while not expressly denying access to justice. However, the Court's doctrine on arbitration ignores its potential problems. In addition, the Court has sometimes assumed erroneously that coercing parties to arbitrate will bring about rationality in dispute resolution and lead parties to adopt an ethic of sensible accommodation. To correct these problems, changes are needed in the United States Arbitration Act. An effective inarbitrable defense and a statutory definition of the scope of the adjudicatory powers of an arbitrator are necessary to the proper functioning of arbitration. Unless the boundaries between public and private adjudicatory authority are properly defined, arbitration has the potential to become a discredited mechanism for dispute resolution. 152 footnotes.


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