Friday, March 14, 2008
This Supreme Court term hasn't yielded many noteworthy decisions in the areas of jurisdiction and procedure. Nor have the petitions to watch at SCOTUSblog provided much to get excited about. The most recent edition describes a petition from a 9th Circuit decision that might interest our readers. The question presented in Collins v. D.R. Horton, Inc. is: Whether a court or an arbitrator should determine the preclusive effect of a prior court judgment on an arbitration?"
Petitioner's Statement of the case begins:
This petition raises a long-standing inter-circuit conflict on an important question under the Federal Arbitration Act: Whether the court or the arbitrator determines the preclusive effect on the arbitration of a prior court judgment. Preclusion doctrines reflect fundamental principles of common-law adjudication that command respect for the decisions of courts in conclusively resolving issues and claims. The effect of court decisions should be determined by courts, not arbitrators whose philosophical or economic interests may favor retrying settled matters. This split among the circuits under a statute of nationwide importance should be resolved by this Court.
You can access links to the 9th Circuit opinion, the cert. petition, and the opposition brief here. --RR