Arbitrator, Not Court, Should Decide Consolidation: 7th Circ.

Law360, New York (December 21, 2011, 5:46 PM EST) -- The Seventh Circuit ruled in an opinion released Wednesday that arbitrators — not courts — should decide whether arbitration proceedings should be consolidated, handing a victory to BlueCross BlueShield plans battling for coverage of underlying class actions.

In a published opinion dated Friday, a three-judge panel held that a party to arbitration cannot ask a court to determine whether it is beyond an arbitrator's authority to make a procedural decision when the arbitrator has not even made the decision yet. The decision affirmed an Illinois federal...
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