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Mitsubishi Motors Corp. v. Soler Chrysler-Plymouth

Supreme Court of the United States

March 18, 1985, Argued ; July 2, 1985, Decided

No. 83-1569

Case Summary

Procedural Posture

Plaintiff car manufacturer appealed an order of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, that affirmed a judgment in favor of defendant car dealership, finding that defendant's counterclaims under the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C.S. § 1 et seq., Federal Auto Dealers Day in Court Act, 15 U.S.C.S. § 1221 et seq., and Puerto Rico's competition statute were not subject to arbitration under the parties' sales agreement.

Overview

Plaintiff car manufacturer had an agreement with defendant car dealership that had a clause requiring all disputes to be settled by arbitration. Plaintiff filed suit to compel defendant to arbitrate several disputes. The trial court ordered arbitration on all claims except one counterclaim. The reviewing court affirmed the orders, except it reversed an order that defendant's antitrust claims were arbitrable. The court here found that the antitrust dispute alone did not invalidate the forum selection clause, and the potential complexity of the antitrust claim did not bar arbitration. The parties and arbitral body could retain competent arbitrators, and the dispute would be governed by the national law giving rise to the claim. There was a strong presumption reinforced by the Federal Arbitration Act and the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards that favored arbitration for international commerce.

Outcome

The order finding that defendant's antitrust claims were not arbitrable was reversed. The antitrust claim alone did not invalidate the forum selection or arbitration clauses. Arbitration provided competent arbitrators, and issues were resolved using the national law where the claim arose. There was also a strong presumption favoring arbitration in international commerce.

LexisNexis® Headnotes

 

 

Admiralty & Maritime Law > Maritime Contracts > General Overview

Civil Procedure > ... > Arbitration > Federal Arbitration Act > General Overview

Admiralty & Maritime Law > Arbitration > General Overview

Admiralty & Maritime Law > Arbitration > Judicial Review

International Law > Dispute Resolution > Arbitration & Mediation > General Overview

International Trade Law > Dispute Resolution > International Commercial Arbitration > Arbitration

HN1  Admiralty & Maritime Law, Maritime Contracts

See 9 U.S.C.S. § 4.

 

Business & Corporate Compliance > ... > Alternative Dispute Resolution > Arbitration > Foreign Arbitral Awards

International Law > Dispute Resolution > Arbitration & Mediation > General Overview

International Trade Law > Dispute Resolution > International Commercial Arbitration > Arbitration

Business & Corporate Compliance > ... > International Trade Law > Dispute Resolution > International Commercial Arbitration

HN2  Arbitration, Foreign Arbitral Awards

See § 201 of the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, (1970), 21 U.S.T. 2519, 9 U.S.C.S. § 201.

 

Admiralty & Maritime Law > Arbitration > Enforcement of Arbitration

Civil Procedure > ... > Alternative Dispute Resolution > Arbitration > General Overview

Admiralty & Maritime Law > Arbitration > General Overview

Admiralty & Maritime Law > Arbitration > Federal Arbitration Act

Admiralty & Maritime Law > Maritime Contracts > General Overview

Civil Procedure > ... > Arbitration > Federal Arbitration Act > General Overview

Business & Corporate Compliance > ... > Arbitration > Federal Arbitration Act > Arbitration Agreements

Business & Corporate Compliance > ... > Pretrial Matters > Alternative Dispute Resolution > Validity of ADR Methods

Business & Corporate Compliance > ... > Contracts Law > Contract Conditions & Provisions > Arbitration Clauses

International Law > Dispute Resolution > Arbitration & Mediation > General Overview

International Trade Law > Dispute Resolution > International Commercial Arbitration > Arbitration

HN3  Arbitration, Enforcement of Arbitration

The Federal Arbitration Act (Act) makes a written agreement to arbitrate in any maritime transaction or a contract evidencing a transaction involving commerce valid, irrevocable, and enforceable, save upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of any contract. 9 U.S.C.S. § 2. The Act guarantees the enforcement of private contractual arrangements by creating a body of federal substantive law establishing and regulating the duty to honor an agreement to arbitrate.

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473 U.S. 614 ; 105 S. Ct. 3346 ; 87 L. Ed. 2d 444 ; 1985 U.S. LEXIS 129 ; 53 U.S.L.W. 5069; 1985-2 Trade Cas. (CCH) P66,669

MITSUBISHI MOTORS CORP. v. SOLER CHRYSLER-PLYMOUTH, INC.

Prior History:  [1]  CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIRST CIRCUIT.

Disposition:  723 F.2d 155, affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.