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 Waiver of Right to Arbitrate Posts
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After Five Years In Court, West Virginia Finds Plaintiff Did Not Waive Right To Arbitrate

By Liz Kramer | November 20 2016

Waiver of Right to Arbitrate The highest state court in West Virginia just found that a credit card company did not waive its right to arbitrate, despite initially choosing a court forum and waiting almost five years to raise its right to arbitrate.  That is a somewhat surprising decision from a court that has been repeatedly willing to buck...

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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.,...

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Federal Courts Teach Arbitration 101 In Recent Opinions

By Liz Kramer | July 26 2016

Waiver of Right to Arbitrate, Year In Review While state courts have been busy articulating novel interpretations of arbitration law this summer, federal courts seem intent on getting back to basics.  In recent weeks, federal appellate courts have reminded parties who has the burden of proving an agreement to arbitrate, what should happen to the case when...

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Class Rep Can Opt Out of Arbitration for All (And Other Recent State Court Anomalies)

By Liz Kramer | July 15 2016

Class Arbitration, Litigation vs. Arbitration, Validity of Arbitration Agreement, Waiver of Right to Arbitrate Continuing last week’s theme of “States Gone Wild,” here are three more oddball summer decisions from state supreme courts. All of them find interesting paths around federal case law (IMHO). Georgia Says Class Complaint Is Deemed Arbitration Opt Out For All Class Members In Bickerstaff v. SunTrust Bank,...

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Eight [Months] Is Enough — To Waive Your Arbitration Rights

By Liz Kramer | May 11 2016

Waiver of Right to Arbitrate Today's post is brought to you by the number 8.  The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a new opinion yesterday finding that a defendant who litigated in court for 8 months waived its right to arbitrate (aka, ARBITR8) plaintiff's employment claims.  [That could be my vanity plate!!] Messina v. North Central...

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January Arbitration Update: Effective Vindication, Class Arbitration, and FAA Preemption

By Liz Kramer | January 29 2016

Appealing Arbitration Decisions, Arbitration Rules/Procedures, Class Arbitration, Waiver of Right to Arbitrate Lots of interesting arbitration law has been made already in 2016, so here is a roundup from the first four weeks of the year. As a teaser, courts have breathed life into the effective vindication doctrine, found arbitrators cannot determine the availability of class actions, and found state laws not preempted. ...

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3 Year-End Arbitration Lessons From Appellate Courts

By Liz Kramer | December 21 2015

Appealing Arbitration Decisions, Litigation vs. Arbitration, Waiver of Right to Arbitrate Before I can sum up 2015 in arbitration (next post!), I need to report on some new cases coming out of the federal and state appellate courts in recent weeks.  Two are just good reminders of basic arbitration law, but the third addresses an interesting question of double recovery. Our first "reminder" case comes...

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Filing Claim In Court Is Not Enough To Waive Arbitration Right

By Liz Kramer | September 18 2015

Waiver of Right to Arbitrate The issue in analyzing whether a party waived its right to arbitrate is usually whether the defendant waited too long to assert the arbitration obligation.  But, this week the Second Circuit had the opportunity to address whether a plaintiff waives its right to arbitrate by the simple fact of bringing a case in...

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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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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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