Arbitration Awards in the United States
There are at least eight kinds of arbitration awards. For detailed information about arbitration in general, click here.
1. Commercial: Most commercial arbitration in the U.S. is handled by either the American Arbitration Association (AAA) or Judicial Arbitration & Mediation Services (JAMS). Their awards are not published, except for securities arbitration (see below).
2. Securities: Securities arbitration awards are searchable in the FINRA Arbitration Awards Online database. The database includes FINRA decisions from July 2007, when the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) assumed assumed the arbitration responsibilities of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) and several other exchanges. Pre-July 2008 awards from those exchanges are also included in the FINRA database.
A few awards decided in 1986 and 1987 are included in the FINRA database. For other pre-1989 awards, call the relevant exchange.
3. International arbitration awards and court decisions are reported in the Yearbook Commercial Arbitration. The yearbook also publishes a report on developments in various countries, a bibliography of arbitration publications, and a list of the members of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration. The results of international arbitration between nations is reported in the United Nations’ Reports of International Arbitral Awards (also available to subscribers in the United Nations Law Collection onHeinOnline). Arbitration awards from the International Center for Dispute Resolutionare available on Westlaw (ICDR-ARBAWARD). AAA international arbitration awards are not publsihed.
4. Patent arbitration awards are not enforceable until notice of the award is filed with the Commissioner of the Patent and Trademark Office (under 35 USC §294). The notice is then put into the patent’s file at the PTO. To find out if a notice is in the file, you can search Derwent’s LitAlert database (on CD-ROM or on ProQuest Dialog) or hire a patent research company, such as Woolcott & Co. (800-223-9697) to check the file at the PTO.
6. AAA Construction awards are not published.
7. Domain Name Dispute awards are available in the databases linked from ICANN’sList of Approved Dispute Resolution Service Providers.
8. Labor & Employment. American Arbitration Association (AAA) arbitration awards are available through Lexis, Westlaw and the BNA Arbitration Awards Navigator (an add-on subscription to the Labor and Employment Law Center). Lexis has labor awards from 1999 to the present (LABOR;AAAEMP) and employment awards are available from 2003 to the present (LABOR;AAALAB). Westlaw has labor awards from 2009 (AAA-LAB-ARBAWARD), employment awards from 2009 (AAA-EMP-ARBAWARD) and a database where you can search both at the same time (AAA-ARBAWARD). The AAA posts Dockets and Awards for Class Action arbitrations in aClass Arbitration Case Docket database.
Labor arbitration awards are indexed by subject and summarized in the Labor Arbitration Information System (LAIS) by LRP Publications. There is an electronic version on Westlaw (LAIS), which covers awards back to 1960. Note: Before 1970, LAIS was called the Labor Arbitration Index. Also, there are regular indexes to the AAA’s Summary of Labor Arbitration Awards (renamed the Labor Award Reporterstarting July 2010), including a cumulative index covering 1959-1991.
Published Labor Awards: The main sources for full-text published arbitration awards are BNA’s Labor Arbitration Reports and CCH’s Labor Arbitration Awards, while LAIS publishes selected awards. An electronic version of CCH’s Labor Arbitration Awards is available on Lexis (CCHEMP;LARAD) and Westlaw (CCH-LAA) and CCH’sIntelliconnect. An electronic version of BNA’s Labor Arbitration Reports on Lexis(LABOR;LRRLA), Westlaw (LRR-LA) and BNA’s subscription online labor and employment system. (Note: On Westlaw, you can search Labor Arbitration Reportsawards along with unpublished awards using the LA-COMB file).
Labor arbitration awards are also published or summarized in BNA’s Government Employee Relations Report and the AAA’s Labor Arbitration in Government, Arbitration in the Schools, and Summary of Labor Arbitration Awards (now the Labor Awards Reporter, since July 2010).
Unpublished Labor Awards: “Unpublished” awards are available from (1) ARBIT onWestlaw, (2) BNA’s Unpublished Arbitration Decisions, which is also available onWestlaw (LA-UNP); and (3) Arbitrator Qualification Reports, available in print or through the R.C. Simpson web site. (Note: On Westlaw, you can search Unpublished Arbitration Decisions along with Labor Arbitration Reports awards in the LA-COMB file).
Arbitration awards by the National Mediation Board (involving labor disputes in therailroad and airline industries) are available in the NMB Knowledge Store back to about 1990 (free), which also includes decisions of the National Railroad Adjustment Board (NRAB), the Public Law Board (PLB) and the Special Board of Adjustment (SBA). For decisions and opinion letters back to 1935, use Lexis (LABOR;NMB) orWestlaw (FLB-NMB for just NMB decisions and opinion letter; FLB-ADMIN to search with employment decisions of other Federal agencies).
Labor rbitration awards for the railroad and airline industries are also available through the Airline Arbitration Awards Database (AAAD) and the Passenger Railroad Database (PRD) published by F&H Solutions Group.
Citation formats: CCH uses the citation format: 04-1 ARB ¶ 3765. BNA uses the format: 130 LA 837 (Arb. 2012). See also the formats in the Shepardizing section, below.
Shepardizing Labor Awards: You can Shepardize citations from any of the published sources using Shepard’s Labor Arbitration Citations in print or on Lexis, using the format: “xx-x lab. arb. awards (cch) Pxxxx” or “xxx lab. arb. rep. (bna) xxx”.
For more about labor and employment arbitration awards, see Researching Labor Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution in Employment by Suzanne Thorpe and Laura J. Cooper.
Another source: Various arbitration awards are filed in U.S. Federal and state courts. You can search collections of those court-filed awards on Westlaw (xx-ARBAWARD for awards filed in a particular state or COURTARB-ALL to search all available awards).