5th Circ. Sets Arbitration Rules In Conoco Win Over Union

Law360, New York (January 31, 2014, 10:16 PM EST) -- Challenging an arbitrator's authority to hear a dispute during arbitration proceedings doesn't grant him the power to decide if he has jurisdiction, the Fifth Circuit said Thursday, affirming a Louisiana federal judge's finding that a union should've challenged ConocoPhillips Inc.'s firing of a worker in court.

In a published opinion that clashed with the holdings of two other circuit courts, the three-judge panel rejected the United Steelworkers union's contention that ConocoPhillips implicitly agreed to let an arbitrator judge whether he could hear an unjust discharge case.

The appeals court said the energy giant raised repeated objections to the union's grievance being considered during...

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