Following yesterday’s exciting oral argument in Sutter v. Oxford Health Plans (more on that later), I am pleased to announce that Ohio State’s 2013 Schwartz Lecture will be given by Professor Christopher Drahozal, from University of Kansas, on Thursday at noon in Saxbe Auditorium. Please join us if you are in Columbus! Chris’s very timely talk will focus on the Supreme Court arbitration cases as “error correction” cases. Chris’s description of his speech/article is as follows:
Supreme Court Justices from William Taft through Stephen Breyer have repeated the maxim that “[t]he Supreme Court is not a court of error correction.” When it comes to arbitration law, however, a number of the Court’s cases are exactly that ― factbound decisions that do little more than correct errors by lower courts. So what is it about arbitration law and the Federal Arbitration Act that results in error correction and factbound decision-making playing such a significant role in the Court’s decisions? One important factor is ongoing resistance to the Court’s arbitration decisions in the lower courts. But in addition, the generalist legal background of Supreme Court Justices (and their law clerks) leads them to overlook important nuances in the facts of arbitration cases before the Court on certiorari. The Court could take simple steps to avoid some of its more limited or problematic decisions. My paper will explore those steps.