Can Parties Contract For Expanded Judicial Review Of Arbitration Awards?

I’ve been involved in a few cases over the years, at trial and appellate levels, in which the parties to an agreement to arbitrate disputes agreed to broader judicial review of the arbitration award than is allowed under the provisions of the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) or the Connecticut Arbitration Act (“CAA”).  Typically the parties agreed to de novo review of questions of law.  Frankly, I never gave much thought to whether such agreements were legal; I just assumed they were.  I don’t assume that anymore. Read the rest of this entry »