Benjamin Faber


By creating new rules to fill in the gaps left by the FAA, the federal circuit courts may have muddied the waters of how and why parties assent to arbitration, and the ramifications of their decisions could change how and why parties bind themselves and each other to arbitration in the future. This note will address these issues in six remaining parts. Part II will briefly outline the pertinent facts of Levin." Part III addresses the circuit split on whether federal courts should issue an automatic stay of legislation pending an appeal to compel arbitration under § 16(a)(1)(A) of the FAA. Further, this part concerns the retroactive application of arbitration clauses in continuing relationships, and analyzes the manner in which some federal circuits have pieced together rules of contract interpretation with Supreme Court precedent regarding arbitration to arrive at the result ultimately reached by the Fourth Circuit in Levin. Part IV addresses how the Levin court applied the law to the facts of the case and its reasons for doing so. Part V contains the author's own opinions and observations of the Fourth Circuit's holding in Levin: that the Fourth Circuit was correct in its decision requiring automatic stays after a § 16(a)(1)(A) appeal, and that its decision regarding the circumstances under which arbitration clauses can be applied retroactively unnecessarily broadened the rules of contract interpretation for contracts containing arbitration agreements. Part VI closes the note with a summary of the issues addressed and some final thoughts on how Levin strengthened federal precedent in favor of arbitrability.



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