November 11, 2011

In this article, Jenner & Block Associate John R. Schleppenbach discusses the Ninth Circuit’s recent decision on an issue of first impression in Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. v. Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp.  In examining the interplay of the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) and the Declaratory Judgment Act (“DJA”), the Ninth Circuit concluded that the DJA does not give district courts discretion to decline to rule on the merits of a motion to stay pending arbitration under Section 3 of the FAA.  Mr. Schleppenbach comments that this result is perhaps “unsurprising,” given the “long-standing and widespread push for federal courts to further the efficiency and ease of arbitration by summarily enforcing arbitration agreements where they are found to exist.”