Hans Smit - Stanley H. Fuld Professor of Law, Columbia University. The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Christos Ravanides, J.D., 2006, LL.M., 2004, Columbia Law School and Ana Christa Boksay, J.D. Candidate 2011, Columbia Law School.
THE UNILATERAL ARBITRATION CLAUSE:
A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS
Now that civil litigation cannot even pretend to serve its professed goals of
speedy, inexpensive, and just adjudication, alternate forms of dispute resolution
are enjoying increased interest. Among them, arbitration rides a wave of high popularity.
Somewhat surprisingly, notwithstanding its persuasive impact,
arbitration has received relatively little attention from academics in the United
States. As a consequence, in seeking to achieve appropriate solutions to the
questions that have inevitably arisen, the courts have, on the whole, received little
assistance from creative scholarship. This is especially true of the unilateral
arbitration clause. Although the legal status and consequences of this clause have
been proffered repeatedly for judicial determination, no American legal writer
appears to have given them detailed consideration; but for a few exceptions, the
unilateral arbitration clause appears largely to have escaped commentarial
attention. This article attempts to remedy this situation.