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Response to WriteWrong (Reply #64)

Mon May 28, 2012, 09:54 PM

65. That's not how cases involving arbitration enforcement work


Your comment reflects a basic misunderstanding of arbitration.

Courts do not look "under the hood" of how an agreed arbitrator decided a case. They will only reverse an arbitration decision in extreme circumstances, such as someone paying the arbitrator under the table or other severe abuse of discretion.

If the parties, when they signed the contract, believed the Shaman to be capable of consulting the spirits of the dead, and they appointed him to do that in order to resolve disputes under the contract, a judge, who is not a Shaman, is not going to require the spirits of the dead to testify in court. The parties said they would abide by the decision of the Shaman, and the Shaman has spoken.

What some people forget is that while you have the right to go to court over contract disputes, you also have the right, in a contract, to agree not to go to court over contract disputes.

A court is bound to respect the right of the parties not to use a court to decide the dispute.

When someone takes an arbitration decision to court for enforcement it is to engage the apparatus of the state to do things like attach wages or seize assets pursuant to the arbitration decision. It is not to get a "do over" on the underlying dispute that was taken to arbitration.

No "sensible judge" would do any such thing as you suggest under the Federal Arbitration Act or corresponding state arbitration laws.

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