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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 …

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Professor Grodin examines four U.S. Supreme Court decisions. The first deals with setting aside a labor arbitrator’s award that conflicts with “public policy”; the second with judicial authority to overrule a labor arbitrator’s finding of fact; the third with the authority of a court, under the Federal Arbitration Act, to hear an appeal, including a …

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Judicial review of labor arbitration awards:The view from the bench

An examination of the judicial vacatur of arbitration decisions since the Steelworkers Trilogy, and the rationale for those court rulings. The article includes an appendix of rulings by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (since Misco) in which the Court has refused to enforce arbitrators’ decision based upon the “essence” standard. This is followed by …

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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 …

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Other people’s messes: The arbitrator as cleanup hitter

Professor Heinsz discusses the authority of arbitrators to reconsideration the earlier decisions of other arbitrators. His observations include the results of a questionnaire that he sent Academy members. Rolf Valtin opines that parties’ use of the words “final and binding” connotes their intention that an arbitration decision will not be merely advisory; not their intention …

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Arbitration, contract, and public policy

Judge Easterbrook examines the authority of the arbitrator to reinstate employees where statutory public policy issues pertain. He reiterates the principle that, where third-party consequences do not preclude the employer from retaining an employee, they do not preclude the arbitrator from doing so. Attorney Richard Gear then gives management’s perspective, that the “public policy exception” …

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President Anderson provides a brief historical survey of labor arbitration in the United States, both grievance and interest, and cautions arbitrators to discharge so as not to overlook or ignore the material facts, or the contract, or the applicable law, and to perform their work carefully, correctly and ethically.

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Professor Vetter notes the conclusions of Judges Harry Edwards and Frank Easterbrook that, post-Misco, public policy should be equated with illegality, but expresses reservations about that conclusion and its usefulness. He opines that post-Misco cases appear to ask whether the arbitration decision “unduly jeopardizes the interests of third persons, whose interests the decision make may …

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Attorney Gottesman observes a resistance in the lower federal courts to accept principles that the Supreme Court enunciated in Misco, the lower courts expansively applying the limited exceptions to the general enforceability of awards. He opines that exceptions to enforcement have become loopholes that should be made as narrow as possible. “Only bribery of the …

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Professor Vetter notes the conclusions of Judges Harry Edwards and Frank Easterbrook that, post-Misco, public policy should be equated with illegality, but expresses reservations about that conclusion and its usefulness. He opines that post-Misco cases appear to ask whether the arbitration decision “unduly jeopardizes the interests of third persons, whose interests the decision make may …

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