36 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2013
Date Written: 2013
Congress passed the FAA in 1925 to resolve commercial disputes involving merchants. Since then, the Supreme Court has dramatically expanded the scope of the FAA and applied it in the employee and consumer settings. More recently the Supreme Court has chosen for its arbitration docket a set of cases with wholly atypical fact patterns in what appears to be a deliberate effort – successful so far – to advance its pro-arbitration policy agenda without provoking a political backlash. This article describes three oddball arbitration cases and argues that their atypical facts have permitted the Court to create legal rules that, while perhaps creating a just outcome in the oddball cases themselves, create unjust outcomes in the typical arbitration cases that much more commonly appear in the lower courts.
Keywords: oddball, arbitration, FAA, atypical
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