This week, we’ll get to the nitty gritty of a topic that can be extremely relevant to litigators: the law applicable to determine the preclusive effect of an arbitral award.

If something’s been arbitrated, it generally cannot be relitigated. In other words, arbitral awards usually have preclusive effect.  There’s not much controversy about this much.

This week, the Fourth Circuit found an arbitration agreement invalid because it waived all federal and state laws.  Although two other federal circuit courts had already found the same company’s arbitration agreement unenforceable because it called for an impossible arbitration process, the Fourth Circuit found it invalid for a new reason.

The issue in Hayes