Old Courthouse

A Variety of State-Level Procedures, Practices, and Policies: Arbitration in Early America

Carli N. Conklin

Current hot topics in arbitration include the role of choice in arbitration, predispute arbitration agreements, religious arbitration, and debates surrounding the constitutionality and efficacy of arbitration under state law. While the specific question of each hot topic is distinct, the public discourse surrounding each question reveals some common themes: How should we resolve our disputes? Should that process be public or private? What law or norms should apply? Do we have a right to initiate litigation or resolve our disputes by way of a trial? If so, may we waive those rights through contractual agreement? If we may waive those rights, is it beneficial for democratic decision-making, the development of law, the parties in conflict, or the resolution of a dispute for us to do so? To what extent should arbitration adopt or mirror the procedures of litigation or the administrative functions of the court? Is arbitration distinct from litigation? Is arbitration effective, efficient, and/or “good”?

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