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Abstract

Since the creation of the F.A.A., courts, including the United States Supreme Court, have considered whether the F.A.A. pre-empts conflicting state law. Although courts generally find that the F.A.A. pre-empts state substantive and procedural law when it stands as an obstacle to Congress' goal of enforcing arbitration,5 the Massachusetts Court of Appeals, in Weston Securities Corp. v. Aykanian, made its own determination on this issue, since it was a case of first impression for the court. The court faced the question of whether a Massachusetts procedural rule, which did not allow an immediate appeal from an order to arbitrate, was pre-empted by the F.A.A. The court's holding expanded the federal policy favoring enforcement of arbitration agreements in Massachusetts by upholding a state procedural rule that promoted arbitration agreements by disallowing certain judicial appeals. The court, therefore, held that the rule was not pre-empted by the F.A.A., even though it contradicted the F.A.A.'s corresponding rule.

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