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 Scope of Arbitration Agreement Posts

Third Parties Fail To Force Arbitration in Three Circuits

By Liz Kramer | September 21 2017

Scope of Arbitration Agreement The “Summer of Arbitration” draws to a close tomorrow, if you can believe it.  (On the first day of fall, it is supposed to be 91 degrees in Minnesota.  Yikes.)  But before I close that chapter, let’s take a look at a theme that emerged in these last weeks: non-signatories losing their attempts to compel...

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Lessons From Two Auto Dealer Arbitrations About Nonsignatories

By Liz Kramer | September 10 2017

Scope of Arbitration Agreement In two recent decisions, the Alabama Supreme Court made clear that if an arbitration clause specifies it only applies to disputes between the two parties who sign the clause, that will be strictly enforced.  No third party can enforce the arbitration agreement. In Nissan N. Am. v. Scott, 2017 WL 3446129 (Ala. Aug....

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10th Circuit Resolves One Arbitrability Circuit Split, But Creates Another

By Liz Kramer | January 26 2017

Scope of Arbitration Agreement, Validity of Arbitration Agreement If you are a party that wants courts to rigidly enforce delegation clauses – sending questions about even the validity of the agreement to arbitration – then you will appreciate a new decision from the Tenth Circuit. In Belnap v. Iasis Healthcare, __ F.3d __, 2017 WL 56277 (10th Cir. Jan. 5, 2017), the court...

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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....

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Three Blockbuster Summer Arbitration Decisions

By Liz Kramer | July 8 2016

Appealing Arbitration Decisions, Scope of Arbitration Agreement, Validity of Arbitration Agreement While regular people count down the days to summer blockbusters that come in the form of high-paid actors fighting aliens or robots, I prefer my summer blockbusters in the form of arbitration opinions that have been months in the making (maybe finally released because the clerks are about to turn over?). Today, I...

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Fishermen Avoid Being Caught In Arbitration’s Net

By Liz Kramer | May 22 2016

Scope of Arbitration Agreement, Validity of Arbitration Agreement What are the defining characteristics of an arbitration agreement? The dissent in a new 9th Circuit case took on that vexing issue, while the majority sidestepped it altogether while refusing to compel arbitration. In Boardman v. Pacific Seafood Group, __ F.3d __, 2016 WL 1743350 (9th Cir. May 3, 2016), a group of...

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Sign O’ The Times: SCOTUS Denies Cert In Franchise Arbitration Dispute

By Liz Kramer | April 22 2016

Scope of Arbitration Agreement, Validity of Arbitration Agreement On Monday of this week, after stringing the parties along for five months, SCOTUS denied cert  in a case involving the intersection between arbitration and franchise regulation.  The petition was filed in November of 2015, and after the respondent initially declined to respond, the Court specifically requested a...

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Arbitration Fireworks: Three Federal Circuits Refuse To Compel Arbitration

By Liz Kramer | July 2 2015

Class Arbitration, Scope of Arbitration Agreement, Validity of Arbitration Agreement, Waiver of Right to Arbitrate Three federal appellate courts recently affirmed lower courts' refusal to compel arbitration.  These cases show that the federal policy favoring arbitration is not absolute – the parties must have agreed to arbitrate the claims at issue and the defendant cannot have waived its right to arbitrate by engaging in...

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Fifth Circuit Finds Parties Can Authorize Arbitrators By Their Conduct

By Liz Kramer | May 12 2015

Appealing Arbitration Decisions, Litigation vs. Arbitration, Scope of Arbitration Agreement The Fifth Circuit un-vacated an arbitration award last week, holding the district court had wrongly concluded that the court was the proper decision-maker on contract formation.  Although courts are presumptively authorized to decide whether an arbitration agreement exists, the Fifth Circuit found the parties...

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When Can A Party Recover Attorneys’ Fees Incurred Confirming An Arbitration Award?

By Liz Kramer | May 7 2015

Appealing Arbitration Decisions, Litigation vs. Arbitration, Scope of Arbitration Agreement If you won your arbitration, it is vexing to have to spend many thousands more in attorneys' fees opposing a motion to vacate the arbitration award.  (That is especially true if you signed up for arbitration thinking it was faster and avoided appeals.)  But, can you ask the court to award you the attorneys' fees...

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