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 →

Latest Arbitration Rules/Procedures Posts
Baseball on Grass Offcenter

What A-Rod Can Teach About A-rbitration

By Liz Kramer | January 14 2014

Appealing Arbitration Decisions, Arbitration Rules/Procedures Arbitration is in the news.  Not just a buried paragraph in the business section, but the front page.   (A three-arbitrator panel issued a 34-page arbitration award finding Major League Baseball was justified in suspending baseball player Alex Rodriguez for 162 games, which A-Rod is now trying to vacate.)  My own...

READ MORE

MustacheSnowman

CFPB’s Preliminary Report: Financial Consumers Can Only Avoid Arbitration By Using A Credit Union

By Liz Kramer | January 7 2014

Arbitration Rules/Procedures, Litigation vs. Arbitration Say it's twenty degrees below zero outside, and you'd already seen boiling water turn into "snow" immediately upon making contact with the air, what would you do next?  Assuming you were all caught up on your Words With Friends games, you would read the 168-page initial report of the Consumer Finance Protection...

READ MORE

LawJournals

Sixth Circuit Is First To Find Availability Of Class Arbitration Is Gateway Issue To Be Decided By Courts

By Liz Kramer | November 8 2013

Arbitration Rules/Procedures, Class Arbitration, Litigation vs. Arbitration Just four months ago, SCOTUS suggested (but did not hold) that the decision to allow class arbitrations might be a "gateway" issue of arbitrability that defaults to courts.  This week, the Sixth Circuit was the first to take the bait and declare the availability of class actions a gateway question that a court...

READ MORE

Halloween design - Forest pumpkins

Halloween Special: Scary Results if Employers Overreach in Arbitration Clauses

By Liz Kramer | October 31 2013

Arbitration Rules/Procedures, Class Arbitration, Validity of Arbitration Agreement No haunted house can scare general counsel as much as an opinion invalidating their company's arbitration clause and thereby allowing a class action to proceed.  So, here is a Halloween tale for all to keep in mind. Ralphs Grocery Company hired Zenia Chavarria to work in the deli of one of its grocery stores. ...

READ MORE

PumpkinSeedsSepia

3d Circuit Says Delaware Can’t Have Secret Arbitrations By Judges

By Liz Kramer | October 28 2013

Arbitration Rules/Procedures, Class Arbitration, Litigation vs. Arbitration The Third Circuit ruled last week that Delaware's Chancery Court could not offer its judges' services as neutral arbitrators in its courtrooms, unless those arbitrations were open to the public. In 2009, the Delaware courts decided to provide arbitration.  The state amended its laws to create an arbitration...

READ MORE

"Know the rules" handwritten with white chalk on a blackboard

Rules Update: Improved AAA Commercial Rules; NAF Rules Not An Obstacle To Enforcing Arbitration

By Liz Kramer | October 2 2013

Arbitration Rules/Procedures, Validity of Arbitration Agreement On October 1, new Commercial Arbitration Rules became effective at the American Arbitration Association (AAA).  These rules are likely to apply to all commercial arbitrations filed on and after October 1 (unless an arbitration agreement specifically provides for old rules).  The AAA posted its own summary of the...

READ MORE

Limpets

Arbitration Awards Cannot Be Vacated Just Because Arbitrator Excluded Evidence

By Liz Kramer | August 1 2013

Appealing Arbitration Decisions, Arbitration Rules/Procedures In two decisions this week, courts consider whether arbitration awards can be vacated based on arbitrators' decisions to exclude evidence.  In both cases, the courts affirm an arbitrator's authority to make reasonable evidentiary decisions -- excluding hearsay and denying tardy subpoena requests -- as long as...

READ MORE

duck white

Federal Courts Can Enjoin State Court Litigation of Arbitrable Claims

By Liz Kramer | May 3 2013

Arbitration Rules/Procedures, Litigation vs. Arbitration In a new case that reminds federal judges everywhere to sing "I've got the power!" like C&C Music Factory, the Fifth Circuit reiterates that federal courts can stay related state court actions if necessary to "protect or effectuate" an order compelling arbitration.  American Family Life Assurance Co. of Columbus...

READ MORE

YLSgargoyle

An ArbitrationNation Roadmap: Document subpoenas to third parties

By Liz Kramer | October 24 2012

Arbitration Rules/Procedures, ArbitrationNation Roadmaps (primers) This post is dedicated to a perennial favorite topic: subpoenas for documents in arbitration.  Why this topic and not something hot off the presses?  Because SCOTUS has not yet accepted or denied the cert petition in Sutter, and no cases have come out recently that meet my high standards for discussion on this blog...

READ MORE

LegoLimbo

How Low Can You Go? Shortening the Statute of Limitations in Arbitration Agreements

By Liz Kramer | October 10 2012

Arbitration Rules/Procedures, Validity of Arbitration Agreement I see more and more arbitration agreements that contain their own limitations period (the timeline for bringing a dispute in arbitration).  Are all of those necessarily enforceable?  No.  In Order of United Commercial Travelers of America v. Wolfe, 331 U.S. 586 (1947), the Supreme Court held that contracts...

READ MORE