Review of Court Decisions - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 30, No. 2
Originally from Dispute Resolution Journal
PENNA — COMMON LAW OR STATUTORY ARBITRATION — AAA RULES — ARBITRATION BASED ON STIPULATION — ACT OF JUNE 16, 1936 P.L. 715, 5 PURDON'S STATUTES §§1-8
Where the language, contained in a stipulation agreeing to submit a matter to arbitration, provides that the arbitrator is the final judge of law and fact, the parties waive any right to appeal under Section 4 of the Act of 1936. The Superior Court of Pennsylvania affirmed the lower court's judgment and interpretation which followed the reasoning of Wingate Construction Co. v. Schweizer Dipple, Inc., 419 Pa. 74, 77, 213 A.2d 275, 276-77 (1965). (In the instant case the parties submitted to arbitration by stipulation and, in Wingate, the parties had agreed to arbitrate, not under the Pennsylvania Act but under the Rules of the American Arbitration Association.) "In order to determine whether an arbitration is one at common law or under the Arbitration Act, we examine the language in the contract and the procedure followed during the arbitration pursuant to the Commercial Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association. The contract does not call for arbitration under the Pa. Arbitration Act. However, the contract does provide that awards shall be binding. The provision making the award final is, of course, inconsistent with the Pennsylvania Arbitration Act, which permits broad, judicial review of the arbitration award, while common law arbitration is reviewable only for fraud, misconduct, or some other irregularity which caused the arbitrators to issue an unjust, inequitable, and unconscionable award. Harwitz v. Selas Corp.,"
406 Pa. 539, 178 A.2d 617 (1962). Coleman v. Southeastern Pa, Transp. Auth. (SEPTA), 835 A.2d 413 (Pa. 1975).