Congressional intent to make arbitration a viable alternative to traditional litigation is codified in the Federal Arbitration Act ("FAA"). Although the FAA and the subsequent case law have settled most questions about the details of the arbitration process, the United States Supreme Court in First Options took up the narrow issue of what standard of review should be used by an appellate court reviewing a district court decision vacating, confirming or modifying an arbitrator's order.' Facing the Court were two competing policies: the Court's own policy of keeping standards of review simple and rational against the Congressional policy of assuring that arbitration does not become a stopping point on the way to court.



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