On the Face of It? Establishing Jurisdiction on Claims to Compel Arbitration Under Section 4 of the FAA

November 1, 2011

Section 4 of the Federal Arbitration Act enables a party with an arbitration agreement to bring suit to compel arbitration if the dispute between parties is brought in court. The U.S. Courts of Appeals are split over how to establish jurisdiction when faced with a claim to compel arbitration. The disagreement centers on whether the court may “look through” to the underlying claim between parties to establish jurisdiction or whether establishment of jurisdiction must comply with the well-pleaded complaint rule, a rule requiring the petitioner to state the reason for jurisdiction on the face of their complaint to compel arbitration. This Note argues that those circuits requiring compliance with the well-pleaded complaint rule take the best approach.

October 2008

No. 1