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
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ArbitrationNation’s Third Anniversary Threesome

By Liz Kramer | August 14 2014

Arbitration Rules/Procedures, Scope of Arbitration Agreement, Validity of Arbitration Agreement, Waiver of Right to Arbitrate This week marks the third anniversary of this blog devoted to interpretations of the Federal Arbitration Act.  (Here's the first post.)  After 155 posts, can there possibly be more to say?  Yes, indeed.  Three new opinions from federal courts of appeals demonstrate how new issues keep "cropping" up in arbitration...

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Arbitration Award Vacated Because Arbitrators Were Impartial

By Liz Kramer | July 15 2014

Appealing Arbitration Decisions, Arbitration Rules/Procedures Although we usually expect arbitrators to be impartial, the Supreme Court of Texas vacated an arbitration award because the chosen arbitrators were too impartial. Americo Life, Inc. v. Myer, __S.W.3d__, 2014 WL 2789429 (Tex. June 20, 2014). Because the court found the parties' agreement allowed each side to choose an...

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Eighth Circuit Finds Incorporation Of AAA Rules Authorizes Arbitrator To Determine Whether Non-Signatory Can Arbitrate

By Liz Kramer | July 1 2014

Arbitration Rules/Procedures, Validity of Arbitration Agreement In a short and sweet opinion issued just six weeks after argument, the Eighth Circuit yesterday held that an arbitrator was authorized to decide whether a non-signatory was able to arbitrate a dispute.  Eckert/Wordell Architects, Inc. v. FJM Props. of Willmar, LLC, __ F.3d __, 2014 WL 2922343 (8th Cir. June 30,...

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A Motion to Compel Arbitration “Answers” a Complaint

By Liz Kramer | April 25 2014

Arbitration Rules/Procedures, ArbitrationNation Roadmaps (primers) I field a lot of good procedural questions about how arbitration pleadings should be styled. Some of them are answered within the text of the FAA, but many of them leave clerks of court and practitioners scratching their heads and getting creative. I will address one of those common questions today: is a motion to...

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Three Lessons on Appealing from Arbitrations

By Liz Kramer | April 17 2014

Appealing Arbitration Decisions, Arbitration Rules/Procedures Three decisions came out recently that offer guidance on appealing from arbitration awards.  Here are three pearls of arbitration appeal wisdom, one from each case: 1.  If you want to appeal from an arbitration, you must have a record.  Sounds basic, right?  But many parties, either due to confidence they will...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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. ...

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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...

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