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
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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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6th Circuit Holds that Accountants Conducting Financial Arbitration Can Also Make Legal Determinations

By Liz Kramer | April 8 2015

Scope of Arbitration Agreement, Waiver of Right to Arbitrate A new case from the Sixth Circuit addresses whether accountants who are resolving a dispute about payments made under an agreement can also make legal determinations about the same agreement. In a 2-1 decision, the Sixth Circuit held that the scope of the dispute clause is broad enough to allow the accountants...

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Rare Claim Falls Outside Arbitration Agreement, Creates Piecemeal Litigation

By Liz Kramer | February 6 2015

Scope of Arbitration Agreement Because of the strong federal policy favoring arbitration, and cases providing that any doubt about the scope of an arbitration agreement must be resolved in favor of arbitration, it is uncommon to find a decision holding that the parties' claims are not within the scope of their arbitration agreement.  But, the...

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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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Appellate Courts Saving Arbitration Agreements Right and Left

By Liz Kramer | July 9 2014

Scope of Arbitration Agreement, Validity of Arbitration Agreement, Waiver of Right to Arbitrate In recent weeks, four federal and state appellate courts have vacated district court decisions that denied motions to compel arbitration.  The courts seem to be saying to defendants with arbitration agreements: don't worry if you lose in the trial court, we will be your Tim Howard and save you from the gaping jaws...

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