Author: Hans Smit**
Published: May 1995
Indemnity, Damages, Punitive Damages
Description: The number of decisions by the Supreme Court in the field of arbitration is growing apace. Regrettably, the Court’s decisions continue to reflect its inability to produce proper analyses of the issues presented. Consequently, although the Court frequently reaches the correct result, it equally frequently employs an incorrect analysis to reach it. This criticism also applies to the case at hand.
It presented a question that has recurred with regularity since the Court overruled its prior precedents and ruled arbitrable disputes under the Federal Securities Laws. That question is whether arbitrators may award punitive damages in such disputes. Of course, if they could not, the soundness of the Supreme Court’s ruling that disputes under the securities laws are arbitrable.
*Arbitral & Judicial Decisions
**Fuld Professor of Law and Director, Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law, Columbia University.