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

Plaintiff Finds You Can Beat City Hall (in arbitration)

By Liz Kramer | June 13 2012

Appealing Arbitration Decisions, Scope of Arbitration Agreement While a court may vacate an arbitration award if the arbitrator exceeds the scope of his authority, the City of Lebanon was unable to convince the Supreme Court of New Hampshire that an arbitrator exceeded his authority when siding against the City in a tax dispute. The plaintiff in Lebanon Hanger Assoc. v....

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Circuit Split: Does Stolt-Nielsen Allow Class Arbitrations Based On Implicit Contract Interpretation?

By Liz Kramer | May 23 2012

Appealing Arbitration Decisions, Arbitration Rules/Procedures, Class Arbitration, Scope of Arbitration Agreement The Fifth Circuit just issued a decision openly disagreeing with how the Second Circuit has interpreted both the Stolt-Nielsen decision and case law regarding the level of deference that courts owe arbitrators.  In Reed v. Florida Metropolitan Univ., Inc., __ F.3d __, 2012 WL 1759298 (5th Cir. May 18, 2012), the...

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Rule-Making Comes To The Rescue of Class Arbitration

By Liz Kramer | February 9 2012

Arbitration Rules/Procedures, Class Arbitration, Scope of Arbitration Agreement, Validity of Arbitration Agreement A reasonable person may have thought that the Supreme Court effectively killed off class arbitrations with its decisions in Stolt-Nielsen and Concepcion, but at least two government agencies have recently made decisions that ensure financial consumers and employees can bring classwide claims in some...

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Piercing The Corporate Veil To Collect On Award Is Outside Scope of Arbitration Clause

By Liz Kramer | January 19 2012

Scope of Arbitration Agreement The highest court in the District of Columbia has held that piercing the corporate veil is outside the scope of the arbitration clause in Giron v. Dodds, 2012 WL 18574 (D.C. Ct. App. 2012).  But the case’s reasoning may extend to all cases in which a party must bring a court case in order to collect on an...

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It’s A Wrap: 2011 in Arbitration Law

By Liz Kramer | December 30 2011

Scope of Arbitration Agreement, Validity of Arbitration Agreement, Year In Review As we pile up the cardboard boxes that held holiday gifts for the recycling truck and select our new year's resolutions for 2012, here are a few reflections on the last twelve months in arbitration law.  I would summarize it as another year where the U.S. Supreme Court was playing whack-a-mole, trying to tamp...

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Arbitration Clause Sticks To Non-Signatories Like A Half-Eaten Halloween Sucker

By Liz Kramer | November 3 2011

Litigation vs. Arbitration, Scope of Arbitration Agreement, Waiver of Right to Arbitrate Two recent decisions illustrate how individuals that did not sign a contract can be bound by that contract's arbitration provisions.  In the first, Blaustein v. Huete, 2011 WL 5103759 (5th Cir. Oct. 26, 2011), an individual member of an LLC, Huete, argued he should not be bound by the arbitration clause between...

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Employee-on-Employee Violence Not Within Scope of Arbitration Agreement

By Liz Kramer | September 29 2011

Litigation vs. Arbitration, Scope of Arbitration Agreement Last week the Eleventh Circuit interpreted the scope of the arbitration agreement within a plaintiff's employment contract to exclude civil claims stemming from her sexual assault by fellow employees.  In doing so, the court may have signaled a discomfort with sending civil claims based on criminal conduct to...

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Another State Law Bites the Concepcion Dust

By Liz Kramer | September 9 2011

Class Arbitration, Scope of Arbitration Agreement, Validity of Arbitration Agreement In April, the Supreme Court struck down a common law rule in California that declared most consumer arbitration agreements void if they prohibit classwide arbitration of claims, holding that it was preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act.  AT&T Mobility, LLC v. Concepcion, 131S. Ct. 1740 ( 2011).  In the last...

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We Are Becoming an Arbitration Nation

By Liz Kramer | August 11 2011

Appealing Arbitration Decisions, Arbitration Rules/Procedures, Scope of Arbitration Agreement The AAA just reported that 143,349 cases were filed with it in 2010.  JAMS reports that approximately 10,000 cases are filed with it each year. There were 190,543 new civil cases filed with all the U.S. District Courts in 2010. In short, two of the largest ADR providers are currently handling almost as many...

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