Synopsis By: Lurie - Proceeding Author: Edwin H. Benn, R. Theodore Clark, Jr., Gilbert Feldman, Jeanne M. Vonhof

Arbitrator Benn describes cases in which arbitration awards he issued in Illinois were vacated by the Courts. The reversals came because he strictly adhered to the parties’ negotiated language and followed the limited role of an arbitrator, rendering results which ultimately clashed with what the Illinois courts felt should be the more politically expedient result in high-profile, politically volatile cases. Arbitrator Benn describes the pernicious consequences that flow from such judicial intervention. Attorney Feldman notes however, that, under common law, a contract is unenforceable if it violates public policy, and that the Illinois higher courts have crafted a formula well-designed to eliminate judges second-guessing arbitrators. Attorney Clark opines that many of the suits brought to vacate arbitration awards involve egregious circumstances, circumstances that cry out for justice, and that the existence of the public policy doctrine in Illinois provides an appropriate vehicle to ensure that justice is done and that the public interest is protected.