Arbitration is meant to be an alternate to litigation. Yet arbitration is itself the subject of much litigation over who must arbitrate, what must be arbitrated, whether and how the arbitration should proceed, and the deference courts must show to arbitration awards. This blog is intended to be a resource for litigators, in-house counsel, arbitrators and anyone else who wants to stay on top of the many thorny issues that arise under the Federal Arbitration Act. Our Bloggers →

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FINAL SUMMATION

Three Appellate Courts Remand for Trial on Existence of Agreement to Arbitrate

By Liz Kramer | February 12 2016

Validity of Arbitration Agreement Most questions of arbitrability can be resolved on motion, using a summary judgment-like standard.  However, just like summary judgment, if there are genuine disputes of material fact about whether a claim must be arbitrated -- like competing evidence about whether the parties ever formed an arbitration agreement...

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Fourth Circuit Holds Arbitration Agreement May Not Waive All Federal Statutory Rights

By Liz Kramer | February 4 2016

Class Arbitration, Validity of Arbitration Agreement This week, the Fourth Circuit found an arbitration agreement invalid because it waived all federal and state laws.  Although two other federal circuit courts had already found the same company's arbitration agreement unenforceable because it called for an impossible arbitration process, the Fourth Circuit found it...

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January Arbitration Update: Effective Vindication, Class Arbitration, and FAA Preemption

By Liz Kramer | January 29 2016

Appealing Arbitration Decisions, Arbitration Rules/Procedures, Class Arbitration, Waiver of Right to Arbitrate Lots of interesting arbitration law has been made already in 2016, so here is a roundup from the first four weeks of the year. As a teaser, courts have breathed life into the effective vindication doctrine, found arbitrators cannot determine the availability of class actions, and found state laws not preempted. ...

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SCOTUS’s Arbitration Docket Contracts

By Liz Kramer | January 13 2016

Validity of Arbitration Agreement, Year In Review The actual and potential arbitration docket at the Supreme Court contracted in the last week due to three events. First, SCOTUS made quick work of an appeal from the Hawaii Supreme Court.  Remember when I predicted that the DIRECTV case was going to make it even harder for state courts to find arbitration...

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Alabama Acknowledges AAA Rules Authorize Arbitrator To Determine Whether Non-Signatory Is Bound

By Liz Kramer | January 10 2016

Uncategorized The Alabama Supreme Court has followed the Eighth Circuit's lead, concluding that when the parties agree to arbitrate pursuant to the AAA Rules, they have clearly and unmistakably authorized the arbitrator to determine who is bound by that arbitration agreement.  Federal Ins. Co. v. Reedstrom, __ So. 3d __, 2015 WL...

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2015: Arbitration Inches Toward Center Stage

By Liz Kramer | December 30 2015

Year In Review Arbitration case law did not break any new ground in 2015.  Instead, a larger sector of the public became aware of the ground already broken in 2011 and 2013, as well as how common arbitration is in professional sports. Let's review some of the attention-grabbing arbitration headlines of 2015.  There...

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3 Year-End Arbitration Lessons From Appellate Courts

By Liz Kramer | December 21 2015

Appealing Arbitration Decisions, Litigation vs. Arbitration, Waiver of Right to Arbitrate Before I can sum up 2015 in arbitration (next post!), I need to report on some new cases coming out of the federal and state appellate courts in recent weeks.  Two are just good reminders of basic arbitration law, but the third addresses an interesting question of double recovery. Our first "reminder" case comes...

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SCOTUS Finds California’s Contract Interpretation Skills Lacking In New Arbitration Decision

By Liz Kramer | December 14 2015

Class Arbitration, Validity of Arbitration Agreement Just under the wire, SCOTUS released an arbitration opinion today, ensuring that 2015 would continue the string of years with cases interpreting the Federal Arbitration Act.  In DIRECTV v. Imburgia, the Supreme Court found that California's interpretation of an arbitration clause was preempted by the FAA.  DIRECTV...

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Want To Vacate Arbitration Award For Bias? Hawaii Is Here To Help.

By Liz Kramer | December 6 2015

Appealing Arbitration Decisions The Supreme Court of Hawaii ruled recently that if a neutral arbitrator fails to meet disclosure requirements, it constitutes "evident partiality" as a matter of law, and requires the vacatur of the arbitrator's award.  Furthermore, Hawaii interpreted its disclosure requirements broadly, and in this case found an...

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Arbitration Nation On Blawg 100 List Again

By Liz Kramer | November 25 2015

Uncategorized I am thrilled to announce that Arbitration Nation has been selected for the fourth year running to the ABA Journal's Blawg 100 list.  Thank you to everyone who nominated this blog and to those who continue reading it, suggesting topics, and challenging my interpretations. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

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