I would like to thank my colleague Zach Mayer for this week's legal portion.
Unlike jury verdicts and trial court rulings, arbitration awards are non-appealable in most instances. Recognizing the finality of an arbitrator's decision is appropriate because the parties have agreed that the decision would be final. Arbitration by agreement is generally consensual and voluntarily, and once that consent is given the arbitrator's authority to decide the matter is basically sacrosanct. Consequently, judicial review of arbitration decisions is sharply limited - even where possible errors of fact or law are involved. But those same limitations on judicial review do not apply to non-parties to an arbitration who seek to challenge an arbitrator's discovery order.