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Arbitration in America: The Early History


On June 29, 1789, Zephaniah Turner of Charles County, Maryland, wrote to President George Washington and observed:

Our Laws are too Numerous. Is it not possible that an alteration might take place for the benefit of the public?…Could it not be possible to curtail the Number of Lawyers in the different States? Suppose each State was to have but Two Lawyers to be paid liberally…[and] where a real dispute subsisted between Plaintiff and Defendant a reference [to arbitration] should be proposed, and arbitrators [be] indifferently chosen by both parties…whose determination shall be final.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Eben Moglen , “Commercial Arbitration in the Eighteenth Century: Searching for the Transformation of American Law,Yale Law Journal 93 (1983): 135.

W. Hamilton Bryson , “English Common Law in Virginia,Journal of Legal History 6 (1985) 249, 253

Alan F. Day , “Lawyers in Colonial Maryland, 1660–1715,The American Journal of Legal History XVII (1973): 145

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Law and History Review
  • ISSN: 0738-2480
  • EISSN: 1939-9022
  • URL: /core/journals/law-and-history-review
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