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 Validity of Arbitration Agreement Posts
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Fourth Circuit Holds Arbitration Agreement May Not Waive All Federal Statutory Rights

By Liz Kramer | February 4 2016

Class Arbitration, Validity of Arbitration Agreement This week, the Fourth Circuit found an arbitration agreement invalid because it waived all federal and state laws.  Although two other federal circuit courts had already found the same company's arbitration agreement unenforceable because it called for an impossible arbitration process, the Fourth Circuit found it...

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SCOTUS’s Arbitration Docket Contracts

By Liz Kramer | January 13 2016

Validity of Arbitration Agreement, Year In Review The actual and potential arbitration docket at the Supreme Court contracted in the last week due to three events. First, SCOTUS made quick work of an appeal from the Hawaii Supreme Court.  Remember when I predicted that the DIRECTV case was going to make it even harder for state courts to find arbitration...

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SCOTUS Finds California’s Contract Interpretation Skills Lacking In New Arbitration Decision

By Liz Kramer | December 14 2015

Class Arbitration, Validity of Arbitration Agreement Just under the wire, SCOTUS released an arbitration opinion today, ensuring that 2015 would continue the string of years with cases interpreting the Federal Arbitration Act.  In DIRECTV v. Imburgia, the Supreme Court found that California's interpretation of an arbitration clause was preempted by the FAA.  DIRECTV...

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Same Arbitration Story, Different Jurisdiction: NAF, NLRB, and Nursing Homes

By Liz Kramer | November 8 2015

Arbitration Rules/Procedures, Class Arbitration, Validity of Arbitration Agreement Some arbitration topics just never die.  This post strings together new cases on three of those topics: 1) whether arbitration agreements that call for the now-defunct National Arbitration Forum (NAF) are enforceable; 2) formation fights in nursing home agreements; and 3) the continuing fight between the NLRB and the...

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“Older Workers” Do Not Have To Arbitrate Statutory Employment Claim

By Liz Kramer | November 1 2015

Class Arbitration, Litigation vs. Arbitration, Validity of Arbitration Agreement Arbitration is having its 15 minutes of fame.  Thanks to a series in the New York Times, my inbox is full of links to the articles, questions about the information, and fascinating commentary.  [Next time I am in Oakland, I am totally having the "Scalia" cocktail at Italian Colors.]  With the far-reaching audience...

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Arbitration Puzzler: Nevada’s Anti-Waiver Rule Preempted; California’s Anti-Waiver Rule Not Preempted

By Liz Kramer | October 7 2015

Class Arbitration, Validity of Arbitration Agreement Two opinions came out recently in disputes over the arbitrability of putative class actions alleging that employees were not paid for overtime (and other labor violations). In one, the Nevada Supreme Court acknowledged that its 2011 ruling, finding class action waivers in arbitration were unconscionable, is preempted....

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SCOTUS Selects Second Arbitration Case For 2015 Term

By Liz Kramer | October 2 2015

Validity of Arbitration Agreement 2015 has been a dry spell in arbitration decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court, but 2016 promises to be much more interesting.  In addition to the California case being heard next week, SCOTUS just granted certiorari in another California-based arbitration decision.  This one, MHN Government Services, Inc. v....

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Kentucky Supreme Court Compares Giving Up Jury Trial To Giving Up Parental Rights; Refuses To Enforce Arbitration

By Liz Kramer | September 28 2015

Validity of Arbitration Agreement Nursing home arbitration agreements are among the most unpopular arbitration agreements around.  Last week, Kentucky's Supreme Court issued a lengthy, but fractured, opinion, finding three arbitration agreements were never validly formed because the signing parties did not have authority to give up the decedent's...

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HONG KONG - APRIL 15: Mercedes Benz Sign Close-Up on April 15, 2014 in Hong Kong. Mercedes-Benz is a German automobile manufacturer. The brand is used for luxury automobiles, buses, coaches, and trucks.

California Upholds Controversial Arbitration Clause Within Consumer Contract

By Liz Kramer | August 4 2015

Class Arbitration, Validity of Arbitration Agreement California is changing its tune.  Although previously known for decisions that flouted federal arbitration law, its decision yesterday in Sanchez shows the current California Supreme Court will abide by SCOTUS's interpretation of the FAA.  After a trial court and intermediate appellate court had ruled that the...

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State Courts Disagree About Incorporating Arbitration Agreements By Reference (Post #200!)

By Liz Kramer | July 22 2015

Validity of Arbitration Agreement One way to challenge the very existence of an agreement to arbitrate is to say that the parties' contract said nothing about arbitration and did not validly incorporate any other document calling for arbitration.  Oklahoma and Alabama have recently come out at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of what kind of...

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