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8 Rutgers-Cam L.J. 1 (1976-1977)
A History of Commercial Arbitration in New Jersey - Part I

handle is hein.journals/rutlj8 and id is 17 raw text is: A HISTORY OF COMMERCIAL ARBITRATION
James B. Boskeyt
A.   Early Attitudes Toward Arbitration
Commercial arbitration has ancient roots in England' and has
existed in the United States since the earliest days of settlement. To an
agrarian society it offered a means of dispute resolution that combined
the advantages of low cost and simplicity.2 During times of turmoil it
offered an alternative to courts that were often unable to sit and were
sometimes politically biased. Further, since both arbitrator and parties
were drawn from the same community, fear of ostracism encour-
aged compliance with the award despite the limited range of legal
sanctions available for enforcement.' Even after the courts had gained
acceptance as the proper forum for the resolution of most disputes,
arbitration offered advantages in many instances. The ability of the
arbitration tribunal to hold immediate hearings meant that an award
could quickly resolve a dispute that would otherwise delay completion of
the litigants' project.4 In addition, the expertise of most arbitrators
* The second part of this article, which reviews commercial arbitration in New
Jersey since the 1923 Arbitration Act, will appear in the next issue of the Rutgers-
Camden Law Journal.
t  Associate Professor of Law, Seton Hall Law School. B.A., Princeton Universi-
ty; J.D., University of Michigan; LL.M., London School of Economics.
1. Sayre, Development of Commercial Arbitration Law, 37 YALE L.J. 595 (1928).
Mr. Sayre indicates that the earliest reported case involving arbitration appears in Y.B.
21 Edw. 3, f. 15. Sayre, supra at 598. Other commentators have traced arbitration to
an even earlier period. See, e.g., Murray, Arbitration in the Anglo-Saxon and Early
Norman Periods, 16 ARB. J. 193 (1961).
2. For instance, expertise in the technicalities of pleading was not required.
3. See Pospisil, The Attributes of Law, in LAw AND WARFARE 25 (P. Bohannon ed.
4. See J. COHEN, COMMERCIAL ARBITRATION AND THE LAw 71-83 (1918) [hereinaf-
ter cited as J. COHEN] for a discussion of the Lex Mercatoria, or law merchant, which
provided for binding arbitration tribunals at each of the major markets during the middle

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