LABOR--SELF-EXECUTING ARBITRATION CLAUSE--ENFORCEMENT OF ARBITRATION AGREEMENT--NONSIGNATORY TO AGREEMENT--VACATUR OF ARBITRATION AWARD- LABOR MANAGEMENT RELATIONS ACT- DECLARATORY JUDGMENT ACT--ARBITRABILITY--FINAL AWARD--DE NOVO REVIEW--WAIVER--JURISDICTION

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    • Abstract:
      This article focuses on the court ruling in the case of Orion Pictures Corp. v. Writers Guild of America West Inc. Neither the Labor Management Relations Act nor the Declaratory Judgment Act (DJA) provided the court with jurisdiction to vacate an arbitrator's ruling because the ruling was not a final award, and the party seeking de novo review under the DJA had waived the right to do so. The Writers Guild of America (WGA) represents script writers in the motion picture industry. It entered into a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) setting royalty rates to be paid to its members by various motion picture production companies. The CBA contained a self-executing arbitration clause that, if enforceable, gave the WGA the right right to institute an arbitration proceeding unilaterally against a nonsignatory. Orion Pictures, which finances the production and distribution of motion pictures, acquired the rights to and the distribution of several films from production companies that were signatories to the CBA with the WGA. Orion refused to pay the WGA members the royalties. Orion filed a motion with the arbitrator seeking a dismissal of Orion as a party or, in the alternative, a stay of arbitration.