The Federal Arbitration Act (F.A.A.) provides arbitration agreements with the validity and enforceability afforded other contracts under the law. The F.A.A. does this by vesting the United States district courts with the authority to compel parties to arbitrate according to their agreements. However, when a court must decide whether to consolidate separate arbitration proceedings because they involve common questions of fact and law and common parties, the F.A.A. is silent as to the court's authority. This silence has resulted in courts either allowing consolidation under a liberal interpretation of the act ("liberal construction" approach), or refraining from granting consolidation under traditional contract principles ("contractarian" approach). With its decision in Boeing, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has provided a strong argument in favor of the "contractarian" approach, and further, one that is consistent with the holdings of other circuits addressing this procedural issue



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.