Court Rules Against Mid-Arbitration Judicial Review

In Burgess v. Lithia Motors, Inc., the Supreme Court of Washington held that a court cannot judicially review an arbitrator’s decision during the pendency of the arbitration, but must await the conclusion of the matter.

According to the court, “[o]nce arbitration begins under the FAA, the court’s authority to resolve the dispute is transferred to the arbitrator. Judicial intervention is generally precluded during arbitration proceedings. The language, framework, and underlying intent behind the FAA confirm that generally courts are limited to ruling on gateway
disputes, such as whether the arbitration clause is enforceable, and addressing the
award at the conclusion of arbitration.”

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