Cases and Materials on Commercial Arbitration, by Thomas Carbonneau - Vol. 7 No. 2 ARIA 1996
William W. Park - Professor of Law, Boston University; Counsel, Ropes & Gray; Vice President, London Court of International Arbitration
Professor Thomas Carbonneau of Tulane University has added a thoughtful and comprehensive set of course materials to the growing literature on commercial arbitration. While focusing principally on domestic arbitration conducted within the United States, the work does not ignore the cross-border dimensions of arbitral dispute resolution.
The book begins with a look at the theoretical basis for enforcing arbitration agreements and awards. In this connection, Carbonneau explains the vital distinction between labor and commercial disputes better than many judges and scholars have done. Two chapters are spent on the important issue of how federalism affects arbitration law. An excellent chapter statutory rights takes the reader through the doctrinal evolution of "subject matter arbitrability," both in the traditional problem areas of securities and antitrust, and in the more current hot topics of age and sex discrimination. Four chapters deal with international and comparative aspects of arbitration, including a look at arbitration law in several non-American jurisdictions, and an examination of treaty-created arbitration under NAFTA, the Iran Claims Tribunal and the Iraqi War Claims Commissions.
The book's great strengths are twofold. First, its encyclopedic completeness misses no major case. Second, Professor Carbonneau devotes an almost loving attention to detail in his clear introductions and carefully weighed analytic comments and questions.
Professor Carbonneau is a man of strong opinions. Readers will sense that he often struggles (with mixed success) to keep a lid on his rhetoric. Nowhere do his doctrinal colors show more than in his concern about the tendency of American case law to expand the scope of arbitrators' power.