Judicial Review of Arbitration Awards and Mediation Agreements - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 67, No. 1
Julia Rabich and Sarah Stoner are 2012 Juris Doctor candidates at Penn State University, Dickinson School of Law where Nancy A. Welsh is the William Trickett Faculty Scholar and a professor of law. In addition, Ms. Rabich is managing editor of the Yearbook on Arbitration and Mediation, and a member of the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court team, and Ms. Stoner is co-president of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Society.
Prof. Welsh is a member of the Council of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution, the Mediation Advisory Board of the U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Joint State Government Commission Advisory Committee on ADR. She also serves on the Editorial Board of Conflict Resolution Quarterly, and is co-faculty advisor of the Yearbook on Arbitration and Mediation.
Originally from Dispute Resolution Journal
Courts value the results produced by arbitration and mediation. Both processes dispose of disputes that might otherwise clog court dockets.
Both processes also provide parties with the opportunity to be heard. Finally, both processes are supposed to involve the exercise of party selfdetermination. As a result, and consistent with the provisions of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), courts extend great deference to arbitrators when determining whether to enforce or vacate arbitral awards. Similarly, courts are highly unlikely to set aside or refuse to enforce settlement agreements facilitated by mediators.
Arbitrators and mediators may be tempted to take judicial deference for granted. They should not. Recent cases reveal occasions when courts have concluded that an arbitrator or mediator forfeited the right to deference. Based on these cases, this article suggests some trends and common-sense practice tips that could help arbitrators and mediators avoid unnecessary missteps.