South Carolina Supreme Court to Decide Whether Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreement Remains Enforceable Despite Refusal of Chosen Arbitrator

Federal and state policy favoring arbitration over litigation is well established. Most recently, the United States Supreme Court reiterated that the Federal Arbitration Act “establishes a national policy favoring arbitration when the parties contract for that mode of dispute resolution.” Preston v. Ferrer, 128 S. Ct. 978, 981 (2008). Section 4 of the Federal Arbitration Act (9 U.S.C. §§ 1-16, “FAA”) states that “upon being satisfied that the making of the agreement for arbitration or the failure to comply therewith is not in issue, the court shall make an order directing the parties to proceed to arbitration in accordance with the terms of the agreement.” 9 U.S.C. § 4. Once a valid and enforceable arbitration agreement is found to exist, Section 4 of the FAA mandates that the matter be submitted to arbitration.

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