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 Class Arbitration Posts

Sixth Circuit Adds to a Growing Circuit Split; SCOTUS to Decide Scope of Employees’ Arbitration Rights

By Liz Kramer | June 14 2017

Class Arbitration, Year In Review In National Labor Relations Board v. Alternative Entertainment, Inc., No. 16-1385, 2017 WL 2297620 (6th Cir. May 26, 2017), the Sixth Circuit joined the Seventh and Ninth Circuits in upholding the NLRB's decision that barring an employee from pursuing class action or collective claims violates the NLRA. Already lined...

READ MORE

First Circuit Finds Class of Independent Truckers Excluded From Federal Arbitration Act

By Liz Kramer | May 29 2017

Class Arbitration, Validity of Arbitration Agreement The Federal Arbitration Act has been in effect for nearly 100 years (92, to be precise).  Nevertheless, the First Circuit found two issues of first impression to address this month.  In Oliveira v. New Prime, Inc., 2017 WL 1963461 (1st Cir. May 12, 2017), the court refused to compel arbitration of a class action...

READ MORE

Maryland’s Highest Court Finds Small Claims Court Action Waived Right To Arbitrate

By Liz Kramer | May 8 2017

Class Arbitration, Validity of Arbitration Agreement, Waiver of Right to Arbitrate It is not uncommon for lenders to exempt small claims actions from their arbitration provisions. The question confronted by the Court of Appeals of Maryland in a recent case was: when a lender opts for small claims court, does that waive any later right to enforce the arbitration clause?  The court's answer was yes,...

READ MORE

8th Circuit Finds ADEA Does Not Preclude Arbitration

By Liz Kramer | April 28 2017

Class Arbitration, Validity of Arbitration Agreement One of the few "get out of arbitration free" cards that SCOTUS offers litigants is this: find another federal statute that clearly entitles plaintiff(s) to a court trial. In a recent 8th Circuit case, that court carefully considered, and then rejected, the argument that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)...

READ MORE

California Invalidates Waiver of Public Injunctive Relief In Consumer Arbitration Clause

By Liz Kramer | April 8 2017

Class Arbitration, Validity of Arbitration Agreement Now that Justice Gorsuch is confirmed and can take the open seat on the Supreme Court, maybe SCOTUS can move forward on the cases about whether employers can make employees waive their right to class actions in an arbitration agreement.  (Btw, here's a nice SCOTUSblog piece on Gorsuch's arbitration decisions.)  In...

READ MORE

Samsung Shut Out Of Arbitration In Recent Consumer Class Actions

By Liz Kramer | March 11 2017

Class Arbitration, Validity of Arbitration Agreement Two federal circuit courts of appeals have recently found that documents Samsung included in boxes with consumer products did not effectively create an arbitration agreement.   In both cases, the documents had titles indicating they related to safety and warranty information, and therefore were ruled insufficient...

READ MORE

3 Class Actions, 3 Motions to Compel Arbitration, 1 Class Action Survives

By Liz Kramer | February 10 2017

Class Arbitration, Validity of Arbitration Agreement The Ninth, Sixth, and Third Circuits all recently issued decisions about whether putative class or collective actions could proceed despite the existence of arbitration clauses.  In two of those decisions, the courts found the arbitration agreements did not allow for class arbitration and therefore dismissed the...

READ MORE

Two States Buck FAA Preemption, While Alabama Stays the Course

By Liz Kramer | February 3 2017

Appealing Arbitration Decisions, Class Arbitration, Validity of Arbitration Agreement Three state supreme courts tackled arbitration law in recent weeks: Alabama, North Carolina, and Rhode Island.  Rhode Island reversed a construction arbitration award because it disagreed with the arbitrator's analysis.  North Carolina found that an arbitration agreement in a doctor-patient setting was...

READ MORE

Kardashians Kept Out of Arbitration (and other recent arbitration news)

By Liz Kramer | January 20 2017

Class Arbitration, Scope of Arbitration Agreement, Validity of Arbitration Agreement, Waiver of Right to Arbitrate Just three weeks into the year and already my pile of arbitration cases is a skyscraper! So, I will cover a lot of ground in this update. First, the headline. Kimberly, Kourtney, and Khloe Kardashian moved to compel arbitration, although they were not signatories to the arbitration agreement.  Kroma Makeup EU v....

READ MORE

Futility Trumps Waiver of Arbitration Rights in Third Circuit

By Liz Kramer | September 26 2016

Class Arbitration, Waiver of Right to Arbitrate Echoing a holding already issued by four other circuits, the Third Circuit recently found that a defendant does not waive its right to arbitration by continuing to litigate in court, if the reason it failed to move to compel arbitration is that the motion would have been futile.  Chassen v. Fidelity Nat'l Fin., Inc.,...

READ MORE