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Authors

Kevin Sack

Abstract

Arbitration clauses allow contracting parties to resolve their contractual disputes without being subjected to lengthy and expensive judicial processes. Arbitrators are authorized to interpret contractual arbitration agreements to determine which issues the parties agreed to arbitrate. However, contract arbitration provisions are often silent as to the availability of class action procedures. Oxford Health Plans LLC v. Sutter held that, when parties expressly agree to allow an arbitrator to interpret whether their agreement allows class action arbitration, the arbitrator does not exceed his authority in doing so, regardless of interpretive error.' This note first discusses how the United States Supreme Court resolved a circuit split by distinguishing Stolt-Nielsen4 in Oxford Health Plans. Second, this note discusses a question that the Court raised, but left unanswered: whether an arbitrator or a court should be presumptively responsible for interpreting whether an arbitration agreement allows for class arbitration.'

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