Minerals Development & Supply Co. Inc. has filed a supplement to its Petition of Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court. This supplement will give the Supreme Court an opportunity to address whether the venue provisions of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) can be procedurally applied in state court proceedings, an issue that has been debated amongst legal scholars for years but has yet to be decided by the nation’s highest court.
The 1984 Supreme Court in the case of Southland Corp. v. Keating ruled that Section 2 of the FAA applied substantively in both federal and state courts and Sections 3 and 4 of the FAA did not apply procedurally in state court. Since that ruling, when the U.S. Supreme Court has decided cases regarding the FAA, Justices O’Connor, Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas have all filed dissenting opinions expressing their view that Congress never intended for the Federal Arbitration Act to apply substantively or procedurally in state courts.
The case at issue involves Superior Silica Sands LLC’s failed attempt to confirm a Florida arbitration award in federal court due to the lack of diversity. Superior then sought confirmation of the Florida award in Wisconsin state court pursuant to Section 9 of the FAA.
Minerals Development & Supply challenged the state court’s venue and jurisdiction based on the language of the FAA applying exclusively in federal court. The state court ruled 9 U.S.C. 9 of the FAA is an “optional venue provision applying in both state and federal courts.”
The federal question was passed on by the Wisconsin Supreme Court allowing the U.S. Supreme Court the opportunity to decide this important federal matter concerning jurisdiction and bring clarity to the state and federal judiciary and the bar whether the procedural provisions of the Act apply in state courts.
The Supplement to the Petition of Writ of Certiorari in the case of Minerals Development & Supply Co., Inc., et. al., v. Superior Silica Sands, LLC, was filed on Sept. 11, 2014, Case No. 14-94.