Scott E. Blair


In response to rising litigation costs and overburdened court dockets, parties are realizing the opportunity to resolve disputes more efficiently through the use of arbitration. 2 To ensure access to arbitration, parties are including provisions in contracts requiring arbitration of future disputes.3 Courts enforce these agreements pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), 4 originally adopted by Congress in 1925, which officially acknowledged the validity of private agreements to arbitrate.5 As a result, courts are faced with procedural issues, such as consolidation of separate arbitration proceedings, in their attempt to enforce the contracts in accordance with the parties' agreement. 6 The Baesler decision represents the Eighth Circuit entrant into the collection of federal court decisions dealing specifically with the consolidation of separate arbitration proceedings.



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