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Transactions: Tennessee Journal of Business Law

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In its April 2009 opinion in Pugh’s Lawn Landscape Company, Inc. v. Jaycon Development Corporation, the Court of Appeals of Tennessee announced its judgment that Tennessee’s arbitration statutes do not permit parties to modify by agreement the scope of judicial review of an arbitral award. The Pugh’s Lawn decision answered a state law question left open by the United States Supreme Court in Hall Street Associates, L.L.C. v. Mattel, Inc., a 2009 case in which the Court held that the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) did not permit parties contractually to expand the grounds for vacating or modifying an arbitral award. While the ruling in Hall Street contemplated the possibility that expanded judicial review might be permissible under state statutory or common law, the Court of Appeals of Tennessee’s decision in Pugh’s Lawn has, for now, settled this state statutory issue in Tennessee.

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