AAA Files Amicus Brief in Supreme Court Case

Article excerpt

The American Arbitration Association has filed an amicus curiae brief in Hall Street Associates LLC v. Mattel Inc., a case currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. The brief supports the position that parties should not be permitted to expand the narrow standard of judicial review of arbitration awards provided for in the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA).

To date, the 9th Circuit, in Hall Street, and the 10th Circuit have expressly ruled that agreements expanding judicial review of arbitration awards are unenforceable, with the 7th and 8th Circuits suggesting a similar view in dicta. The 1st, 3rd, 4th and 6th Circuits have ruled the other way.

Hall Street stemmed from a commercial landlord-tenant dispute in which the parties' arbitration agreement contained a provision stating that the court had authority to review the factual findings in the arbitration award for substantial evidence, and the conclusions of law for legal error. The 9th Circuit held that the FAA does not permit parties to agree to greater judicial review of arbitration awards than is provided for in the FAA itself. …