At least since the New Jersey Supreme Court decided Tretina v. Fitzpatrick & Assocs. in 1994, New Jersey lawyers might have understood that parties could agree to tailor their arbitration agreements to expand the grounds for vacating an arbitration award beyond what might be set out in the governing state or federal statutes. As the court said, “parties are free to expand the scope of judicial review by providing for such in their contract [for example, that] awards may be reversed either for mere errors of New Jersey law, substantial errors, or gross errors ….” Otherwise, New Jersey awards might be vacated only for corruption, fraud, misconduct or similar extraordinary problems. A 2001 case in the Third Circuit seemed to permit a similar degree of party autonomy. In 2003, moreover, New Jersey adopted the Revised Uniform Arbitration Act, which in section 4(c) provided “nothing in this act shall preclude the parties from expanding the scope of judicial review of an award by expressly providing for such an expansion in a record.”

So, adopt the New Jersey Revised Act in your contract and set out the expanded review that fits the parties’ circumstances, right?