Annie Chen


This Note examines the doctrine of manifest disregard, its impact on international arbitration, and its future after Hall Street. The focus of the discussion is U.S. law. Part I sets out the legal framework for arbitration in the United States and the statutory and extrastatutory grounds for vacatur of awards. It discusses the development and application of the doctrine of manifest disregard of the law in U.S. common law and the tension this has created with the FAA. Part II analyzes the Hall Street decision and the subsequent developing circuit split, including the case's impact on viability of manifest disregard. It also discusses different approaches to reconciling manifest disregard with the FAA both through the judiciary and legislature. Finally Part III argues that Hall Street has not eliminated manifest disregard and that the Second and Ninth Circuits' approach to reading the doctrine into the FAA is the best method of resolving the tension between the FAA and the doctrine. By adopting this approach, the Supreme Court would clarify its stance on the viability of manifest disregard and take a significant step in addressing the underlying tension between the FAA and the manifest disregard doctrine. This Note further argues that, on policy grounds-especially with regard to promoting international arbitration in the United States and as consistent with legislative intent-manifest disregard as a doctrine should only survive as a part of the FAA.