Blawgletter confesses a distaste for litigation about arbitration. Instead of promising to settle fights cheaper-better-faster, arbitration agreements nowadays provide fodder for lawsuits. Blawgletter, following the lead of its sister e-publication, Barnett’s Notes on Commercial Litigation, calls the phenomenon "arbitragation". Get it?
A new opinion fresh out of the Sixth Circuit spotlights the arbitragation problem without lamenting it. (See the "for publication" opinion.) In Electronic Data Systems Corp. v. Donelson, Nos. 06-1211/1478 (6th Cir. Jan. 18, 2007), two former EDS employees alleged race discrimination by a supervisor who displayed in her work cubicle a black-face doll hanging from a noose around its neck. They originally filed suit in federal court (2002), worked out an agreement to arbitrate their claims (2003), went to arbitration (2004), received a favorable award (2005), and persuaded the district court not to vacate it (2005). And, in 2007, the court of appeals rejects EDS’s arguments for vacatur.
Cheaper-better-faster than litigation? Nosir.