Attorney(s) appearing for the Case
William J. Harte argued the cause for petitioners. With him on the briefs were Robert L. Tucker and Joan M. Mannix.
Malcolm L. Stewart argued the cause for the United States et al. as amici curiae urging reversal. With him on the brief were Solicitor General Days, Deputy Solicitor General Wallace, Simon M. Lorne, Paul Gonson, Jacob H. Stillman, Lucinda O. McConathy, and Mark Pennington.
Joseph Polizzotto argued the cause for respondents. With him on the brief were Phil C. Neal, H. Nicholas Berberian, and Robert J. Mandel.*
Stevens, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Rehnquist, C. J., and O'Connor, Scalia, Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer, JJ., joined. Thomas, J., filed a dissenting opinion, p. 64.
United States Supreme Court.
Justice Stevens, delivered the opinion of the Court.
New York law allows courts, but not arbitrators, to award punitive damages. In a dispute arising out of a standardform contract that expressly provides that it "shall be governed by the laws of the State of New York," a panel of arbitrators awarded punitive damages. The District Court and Court of Appeals disallowed that award. The question presented is whether the arbitrators' award is consistent with the central...
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