Oklahoma Supreme Court reversed for failing to follow law in contract dispute

The U.S. Supreme Court says the Oklahoma high court wrongly got involved in a case that should have been decided by an arbitrator
by Chris Casteel Modified: November 26, 2012 at 8:41 pm •  Published: November 27, 2012
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The U.S. Supreme Court vacated that action on Monday and ruled that the state court must abide by the Federal Arbitration Act, “which is the Supreme Law of the Land.”

“State courts rather than federal courts are most frequently called upon to apply the Federal Arbitration Act … including the Act's national policy favoring arbitration,” the U.S. Supreme Court decision states.

“It is a matter of great importance, therefore, that state supreme courts adhere to a correct interpretation of the legislation. Here, the Oklahoma Supreme Court failed to do so. By declaring the noncompetition agreements in two employment contracts null and void, rather than leaving that determination to the arbitrator in the first instance, the state court ignored a basic tenet of the Act's substantive arbitration law.”

by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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