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 Posts

“Manifest Disregard Of The Law” Has Circuit Courts in Disarray

By Liz Kramer | March 4 2012

Appealing Arbitration Decisions The Fourth Circuit recently affirmed that it will consider “manifest disregard of the law” as a separate basis for attacking an arbitration award, in addition to the four bases set forth in Section 10 of the Federal Arbitration Act.  Wachovia Secs., LLC v. Brand, __ F.3d ___, 2012 WL 507022, at *8 (4th Cir. Feb...

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West Virginia’s Arbitration Ruling Could Not Stay Under SCOTUS’ FAA Preemption Radar

By Liz Kramer | February 21 2012

Validity of Arbitration Agreement The U.S. Supreme Court today vacated the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals' decision from last June, holding that pre-dispute arbitration clauses in nursing home contracts will not be enforced in that state.  The content of the decision is not surprising, as it relies on notions of federal preemption and...

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Saint Vacatur’s Day: Feb. 3

By Liz Kramer | February 16 2012

Appealing Arbitration Decisions The Sixth and Second Circuits addressed whether to vacate an arbitrator’s award recently.  The Sixth Circuit vacated the award of an arbitrator who “exceeded his powers,” while the Second Circuit refused to vacate for “evident partiality.”   Based on the parties’ agreement, the Sixth Circuit...

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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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Fifth Circuit Finds Arbitration Agreement Illusory

By Liz Kramer | February 7 2012

Validity of Arbitration Agreement Applying Texas law, the Fifth Circuit recently found that an employer cannot compel arbitration under an agreement that gives the employer the right to unilaterally change the terms of the agreement.  Carey v. 24 Hour Fitness, USA, Inc., __ F.3d __, 2012 WL 205851 (5th Cir. Jan. 25, 2012).  The employee in the...

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Amex, The Threequel: Second Circuit Keeps Alive Notion That Prohibitive Expense Is Basis To Invalidate Arbitration Agreements

By Liz Kramer | February 3 2012

Validity of Arbitration Agreement In the latest serve in a four-year ping-pong match between it and the Supreme Court, the Second Circuit has re-re-affirmed its holding that American Express may not compel arbitration of antitrust claims by a class of national merchants.  In Re Am. Express Merchants’ Litig., ___ F.3d ___, 2012 WL 284518 (2d Cir....

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Third Circuit Says “Bring On De-Funct!”

By Liz Kramer | January 25 2012

Arbitration Rules/Procedures, Validity of Arbitration Agreement In a 2-1 decision, the Third Circuit held last week that the arbitration agreement in a personal computer purchase was valid, despite its mandate of a defunct arbitral forum.  Its decision, Khan v. Dell Inc., ___ F.3d ___, 2012 WL 163899 (3d Cir. Jan. 20, 2012), is in line with the decision of the South Dakota...

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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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Arbitration Nation Among Best “Blawgs” of 2011

By Liz Kramer | January 10 2012

Uncategorized, Year In Review Big day here at Arbitration Nation.  The U.S. Supreme Court issued a new arbitration decision and Arbitration Nation was named one of the best legal blogs in Minnesota!  I am honored to be in the company of such great legal writing.

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CompuCredit Corp. v. Greenwood: 8-1 SCOTUS Decision Finds Credit Repair Organizations Act Does Not Preclude Arbitration

By Liz Kramer | January 10 2012

Litigation vs. Arbitration, Validity of Arbitration Agreement In a very narrow decision today, the U.S. Supreme Court found that the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) does not preclude the arbitration of consumer suits alleging violations of that Act.  CompuCredit Corp. v. Greenwood, 565 U.S. ___ (2012).  The 8-1 decision was written by (who else?) Justice Scalia, with...

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