The Mess of Manifest Disregard
14 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2009 Last revised: 28 Dec 2010
Date Written: April 22, 2009
This short essay offers a new and overlooked angle on a circuit split currently developing in the area of federal arbitration law. In the 12 months since the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial decision in Hall Street Associates v. Mattel, state and federal courts have taken opposite sides on the question of whether Hall Street spells the end of the half-century old, judicially-created doctrine of “manifest disregard,” which allows courts to refuse enforcement of arbitral awards in certain narrow circumstances. On March 5, 2009, the Fifth Circuit became the fourth federal appellate court to weigh in on this debate.
I argue that both sides of the circuit split have uniformly misunderstood Hall Street.
Keywords: Circuit Split, Supreme Court, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Arbitration, Federal Arbitration Act, Vacatur of Arbitration Awards
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