Class Arbitrations: Supreme Court Declines to Set Aside an Arbitrator’s Finding that Parties Consented to Class Arbitration Because the Arbitrator Arguably Construed the Parties’ Contract

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP - June 11, 2013

The United States Supreme Court yesterday retreated from the robust review of an arbitral award ordering class arbitration that it has previously undertaken and unanimously upheld such an award under a highly deferential standard of review. The Court in Oxford Health Plans LLC v. Sutter, the decision released yesterday, held that, at least where parties consented to having an arbitrator resolve the question, the arbitrator does not exceed his or her powers in determining that parties to a contract have affirmatively consented to class arbitration so long as the arbitrator has “arguably constru[ed] or appl[ied]” the parties’ contract.