Arbitration: The Nov. 7 Argument Wasn't Enough! U.S. Supreme Court Asks for More Hall Street Associates Briefing. (Web)

The U.S. Supreme Court today asked for supplementary briefs on Hall Street Associates v. Mattel, 06-989, an arbitration case argued on Nov. 7. The justices are seeking authority beyond the Federal Arbitration Act that could support upholding an agreement to have an arbitration award reviewed with heightened scrutiny, which would effectively supplement the FAA's usual fraud limits on reviewing awards.

The parties were ordered to file a supplemental brief answering three questions posed by the Court by Tuesday, Nov. 27. Reply briefs are due Dec. 3.

The Court asked the parties to address the following:

(1) Does authority exist outside the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) under which a party to litigation begun without reliance on the FAA may enforce a provision for judicial review of an arbitration award?

(2) If such authority does exist, did the parties, in agreeing to arbitrate, rely in whole or part on that authority?

(3) Has petitioner in the course of this litigation waived any reliance on authority outside the FAA for enforcing the judicial review provision of the parties’ arbitration agreement?

The full order can be found at http://www.scotusblog.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/today-1116-order.pdf.

Veteran Supreme Court reporter Lyle Denniston writes that the questions come directly from the oral arguments in the case, voiced at the time by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., and Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer. You can read Denniston’s analysis at http://www.scotusblog.com/wp/uncategorized/supplemental-briefing-ordered-in-hall-street.

You can read the full text of the Nov. 7 oral argument at http://www.supremecourtus.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/06-989.pdf.

–Russ Bleemer, Editor, Alternatives