October 4, 2017
Jurisdiction Matters: A Quarterly Series

Reasonable Minds Differ: Circuit Split on Preliminary Injunctive Relief for Parties to Arbitration Agreements

This article compares the U.S. Court of Appeals’ differing positions on whether injunctive relief is available to parties to contracts with arbitration provisions.  It is the first in a series of comparative studies highlighting why choice of law and jurisdiction matters in commercial litigation.

Choice of law and venue may matter most for parties to arbitration agreements. It seems unusual a Federal circuit split highlighted by the Supreme Court more than 30 years ago is unresolved today, but the question remains: does the Federal Arbitration Act (the “Act”) bar a district court from ordering preliminary injunctive relief when parties have agreed to arbitrate disputes? As explained below, the majority of Circuits have held such relief is generally available. The opposite is true in the Eighth Circuit, which hears appeals from federal district courts in Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.1 

For an overview of the split views on preliminary injunctive relief in these cases, please click here

To learn more about our Commercial Litigation practice, click here