Optional Arbitration Appeals: Principles and Practice
Joseph Aronds, Vice President and Chief Litigation and Trial Counsel, Hartz Mountain Industries, Inc., USA
This article examines the availability of optional appellate review of a final award entered in private contractual arbitration proceedings between commercial entities in the United States. Such appellate review is “optional” because the parties must opt-in to the use of such procedures given that there is no general or automatic right of appeal on the merits from a final arbitration award under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”). If the parties have not agreed to proceed under available optional appellate procedures to obtain a right to substantive appellate review of their dispute on the merits they remain subject to the limited rights of judicial review provided under the FAA. This article discusses reasons why the parties might elect to proceed under optional appellate procedures and having made that election, what the parties might expect to encounter when engaging in such appellate proceedings.
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