JUSTICE MARSHALL delivered the opinion of the Court.
The question presented is whether, when a complaint raises both federal securities claims and pendent state claims, a Federal District Court may deny a motion to compel arbitration of the state-law claims despite the parties' agreement to arbitrate their disputes. We granted certiorari to resolve a conflict among the Federal Courts of Appeals on this question. 467 U.S. 1240 (1984).
In 1981, A. Lamar Byrd sold his dental practice and invested $160,000 in securities through Dean Witter Reynolds Inc., a securities broker-dealer. The value of the account declined by more than $100,000 between September 1981 and March 1982. Byrd filed a complaint against Dean Witter in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, alleging a violation of §§ 10(b), 15(c), and 20 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U. S. C. §§ 78j(b), 78o(c), and 78t, and of various state-law provisions. Federal jurisdiction over the state-law claims was based on diversity of citizenship and the principle of pendent jurisdiction. In the complaint, Byrd alleged that an agent of Dean Witter had traded in his account without his prior consent, that the number of transactions executed on behalf of the account was excessive, that misrepresentations were made by an agent of Dean Witter as to the status of the account, and that the agent acted with Dean Witter's knowledge, participation, and ratification.
Confronted with the issue we address
In contrast, the Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Circuits have held that the Arbitration Act divests the district courts of any discretion regarding arbitration in cases containing both arbitrable and nonarbitrable claims, and instead requires that the courts compel arbitration of arbitrable claims, when asked to do so. These courts conclude that the Act, both through its plain meaning and the strong federal policy it reflects, requires courts to enforce the bargain of the parties to arbitrate, and "not substitute [its] own views of economy and efficiency" for those of Congress. Dickinson v. Heinold Securities, Inc., 661 F.2d 638, 646 (CA7 1981).
We agree with these latter courts that the Arbitration Act requires district courts to compel arbitration of pendent arbitrable claims when one of the parties files a motion to compel, even where the result would be the possibly inefficient maintenance of separate proceedings in different forums. Accordingly, we reverse the decision not to compel arbitration.
The Arbitration Act provides that written agreements to arbitrate controversies arising out of an existing contract "shall be valid, irrevocable, and enforceable, save upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of any contract." 9 U. S. C. § 2. By its terms, the Act leaves no place for the exercise of discretion by a district court, but instead mandates that district courts shall direct the parties to proceed to arbitration on issues as to which an arbitration agreement has been signed. §§ 3, 4. Thus, insofar as the language of the Act guides our disposition of this case, we would conclude that agreements to arbitrate must be enforced, absent a ground for revocation of the contractual agreement.
It is suggested, however, that the Act does not expressly address whether the same mandate — to enforce arbitration agreements — holds true where, as here, such a course would result in bifurcated proceedings if the arbitration agreement is enforced.
We turn, then, to consider whether the legislative history of the Act provides guidance on this issue. The congressional history does not expressly direct resolution of the scenario we address. We conclude, however, on consideration of Congress' intent in passing the statute, that a court must compel arbitration of otherwise arbitrable claims, when a motion to compel arbitration is made.
The legislative history of the Act establishes that the purpose behind its passage was to ensure judicial enforcement of privately made agreements to arbitrate. We therefore reject the suggestion that the overriding goal of the Arbitration Act was to promote the expeditious resolution of claims. The Act, after all, does not mandate the arbitration of all claims, but merely the enforcement — upon the motion of one of the parties — of privately negotiated arbitration agreements. The House Report accompanying the Act makes clear that its purpose was to place an arbitration agreement "upon the same footing as other contracts, where it belongs," H. R. Rep. No. 96, 68th Cong., 1st Sess., 1 (1924), and to overrule the judiciary's longstanding refusal to enforce
Nonetheless, passage of the Act was motivated, first and foremost, by a congressional desire to enforce agreements into which parties had entered,
We therefore are not persuaded by the argument that the conflict between two goals of the Arbitration Act — enforcement of private agreements and encouragement of efficient and speedy dispute resolution — must be resolved in favor of the latter in order to realize the intent of the drafters. The preeminent concern of Congress in passing the Act was to enforce private agreements into which parties had entered, and that concern requires that we rigorously enforce agreements to arbitrate, even if the result is "piecemeal" litigation, at least absent a countervailing policy manifested in another federal statute. See n. 1, supra. By compelling arbitration of state-law claims, a district court successfully protects the contractual rights of the parties and their rights under the Arbitration Act.
It is also suggested, however, and some Courts of Appeals have held, that district courts should decide arbitrable pendent claims when a nonarbitrable federal claim is before them, because otherwise the findings in the arbitration proceeding might have collateral-estoppel effect in a subsequent federal proceeding. This preclusive effect is believed to pose a threat to the federal interest in resolution of securities claims, and to warrant a refusal to compel arbitration.
We believe that the preclusive effect of arbitration proceedings is significantly less well settled than the lower court opinions might suggest, and that the consequence of this misconception has been the formulation of unnecessarily contorted procedures. We conclude that neither a stay of proceedings, nor joined proceedings, is necessary to protect the federal interest in the federal-court proceeding, and that the formulation of collateral-estoppel rules affords adequate protection to that interest.
Initially, it is far from certain that arbitration proceedings will have any preclusive effect on the litigation of nonarbitrable federal claims. Just last Term, we held that neither the full-faith-and-credit provision of 28 U. S. C. § 1738, nor a judicially fashioned rule of preclusion, permits a federal court to accord res judicata or collateral-estoppel effect to an unappealed arbitration award in a case brought under 42 U. S. C. § 1983. McDonald v. West Branch, 466 U.S. 284 (1984). The full-faith-and-credit statute requires that federal courts give the same preclusive effect to a State's judicial proceedings as would the courts of the State rendering the judgment, and since arbitration is not a judicial proceeding, we held that the statute does not apply to arbitration awards. Id., at 287-288. The same analysis inevitably would apply to any unappealed state arbitration
Significantly, McDonald also establishes that courts may directly and effectively protect federal interests by determining the preclusive effect to be given to an arbitration proceeding. Since preclusion doctrine comfortably plays this role, it follows that neither a stay of the arbitration proceedings, nor a refusal to compel arbitration of state claims, is required in order to assure that a precedent arbitration does not impede a subsequent federal-court action. The Courts of Appeals that have assumed collateral-estoppel effect must be given to arbitration proceedings have therefore sought to accomplish indirectly that which they erroneously assumed they could not do directly.
The question of what preclusive effect, if any, the arbitration proceedings might have is not yet before us, however, and we do not decide it. The collateral-estoppel effect of an arbitration proceeding is at issue only after arbitration is completed, of course, and we therefore have no need to consider now whether the analysis in McDonald encompasses this case. Suffice it to say that in framing preclusion rules in this context, courts shall take into account the federal interests warranting protection. As a result, there is no reason to require that district courts decline to compel arbitration, or manipulate the ordering of the resulting bifurcated proceedings, simply to avoid an infringement of federal interests.
Finding unpersuasive the arguments advanced in support of the ruling below, we hold that the District Court erred
It is so ordered.
JUSTICE WHITE, concurring.
I join the Court's opinion. I write separately only to add a few words regarding two issues that it leaves undeveloped.
The premise of the controversy before us is that respondent's claims under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 are not arbitrable, notwithstanding the contrary agreement of the parties. The Court's opinion rightly concludes that the question whether that is so is not before us. Ante, at 216, n. 1. Nonetheless, I note that this is a matter of substantial doubt. In Wilko v. Swan, 346 U.S. 427 (1953), the Court held arbitration agreements unenforceable with regard to claims under § 12(2) of the 1933 Act. It relied on three interconnected statutory provisions: § 14 of the Act, which voids any "stipulation . . . binding any person acquiring any security to waive compliance with any provision" of the Act; § 12(2), which, the Court noted, creates "a special right to recover for misrepresentation which differs substantially from the common-law action"; and § 22, which allows suit in any state or federal court of competent jurisdiction and provides for nationwide service of process. 346 U. S., at 431, 434-435; 15 U. S. C. §§ 77n, 77l(2), 77v.
Wilko's reasoning cannot be mechanically transplanted to the 1934 Act. While § 29 of that Act, 15 U. S. C. § 78cc(a), is equivalent to § 14 of the 1933 Act, counterparts of the other two provisions are imperfect or absent altogether. Jurisdiction under the 1934 Act is narrower, being restricted to the federal courts. 15 U. S. C. § 78aa. More important, the cause of action under § 10(b) and Rule 10b-5, involved here,
The Court has expressed these reservations before. Scherk v. Alberto-Culver Co., 417 U.S. 506, 513-514 (1974). I reiterate them to emphasize that the question remains open, and the contrary holdings of the lower courts must be viewed with some doubt.
The Court's opinion makes clear that a district court should not stay arbitration, or refuse to compel it at all, for fear of its preclusive effect. And I can perceive few, if any, other possible reasons for staying the arbitration pending the outcome of the lawsuit. Belated enforcement of the arbitration clause, though a less substantial interference than a refusal to enforce it at all, nonetheless significantly disappoints the expectations of the parties and frustrates the clear purpose of their agreement. In addition, once it is decided that the two proceedings are to go forward independently, the concern for speedy resolution suggests that neither should be delayed. While the impossibility of the lawyers being in two places at once may require some accommodation in scheduling, it seems to me that the heavy presumption should be that the arbitration and the lawsuit will each proceed in its normal course. And while the matter remains to be determined by the District Court, I see nothing in the record before us to indicate that arbitration in the present case should be stayed.
Dean Witter and amici representing the securities industry urge us to resolve the applicability of Wilko to claims under § 10(b) and Rule 10b-5. We decline to do so. In the District Court, Dean Witter did not seek to compel arbitration of the federal securities claims. Thus, the question whether Wilko applies to § 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 claims is not properly before us.
Finally, federal courts have addressed the same issue when confronted with federal antitrust actions and pendent state claims. See, e. g., Lee v. Ply[*]Gem Industries, Inc., 193 U. S. App. D. C. 112, 121, 593 F.2d 1266, 1274-1275, and n. 67 (holding that arbitrable claims should not become "subject to adjudication in court merely because they are related to nonarbitrable claims," when the dispute arises out of a contract containing an agreement to arbitrate), cert. denied, 441 U.S. 967 (1979).
"The need for the law arises from an anachronism of our American law. Some centuries ago, because of the jealousy of the English courts for their own jurisdiction, they refused to enforce specific agreements to arbitrate upon the ground that the courts were thereby ousted from their jurisdiction. This jealousy survived for so long a period that the principle became firmly embedded in the English common law and was adopted with it by the American courts. The courts have felt that the precedent was too strongly fixed to be overturned without legislative enactment, although they have frequently criticised the rule and recognized its illogical nature and the injustice which results from it. This bill declares simply that such agreements for arbitration shall be enforced, and provides a procedure in the Federal courts for their enforcement." H. R. Rep. No. 96, 68th Cong., 1st Sess., 1-2 (1924).
See also Cohn & Dayton, The New Federal Arbitration Act, 12 Va. L. Rev. 265, 283-284 (1926).