Burr Alert: Doctrinal Split Over Nonparty Discovery In Arbitration Continues

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The Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) was enacted to ensure the enforceability and validity of arbitration agreements. Through the enactment of this sweeping legislation, Congress signaled its approval of arbitration as a form of alternative dispute resolution and ushered in a national policy favoring arbitration. Currently, however, this national policy is frustrated by a circuit split regarding arbitrators' ability to issue nonparty subpoenas when not incident to an actual arbitration hearing.

The split specifically concerns Section 7 of the FAA and whether, by its vague language, the section permits an arbitrator to compel pre-hearing discovery depositions and document production from nonparties. Section 7 states in pertinent part...

Please see full Alert below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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