Synopsis By: Lurie - Proceeding Author: Stephen L. Hayford

The author asserts that commercial arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act, and labor arbitration under the Labor Management Relations Act are “in a state of substantial symmetry.” Federal preemption under each, the common threshold issues of consent and substantive arbitrability, and the bases of judicial vacatur of each are discussed. The author proffers that a straightforward and easily understood framework for vacatur of arbitration decisions is needed to “respect the arbitration bargain” and prevent judicial intrusion into the merits of awards; that courts cannot determine whether a decision draws its essence from the agreement without considering the correctness of the arbitrator’s interpretation of the contract or findings of fact; and that the standard of review should be that of Section 10(a)(4) of the FAA: the “exceeded authority” standard. The author also examines “public policy” and “manifest disregard of the law” as bases for vacatur.