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 →

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South Dakota Disagrees with Illinois and Pennsylvania, Finding Choice of Defunct Arbitration Rules is Not “Integral” To Agreement

By Liz Kramer | January 4 2012

Arbitration Rules/Procedures, Validity of Arbitration Agreement Earlier in 2011, courts in both Pennsylvania and Illinois issued decisions finding that when a consumer's arbitration agreement called for the National Arbitration Forum (NAF) to administer the arbitration, but the NAF no longer administered consumer disputes, the arbitration agreements were unenforceable.  Those...

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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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An “Impasse” Of One Or Two Months Over Arbitrator Selection Does Not Entitle Court to Appoint Arbitrator

By Liz Kramer | December 21 2011

Arbitration Rules/Procedures The Supreme Court of Texas issued three decisions last week that all relate to arbitrator selection and offer reminders to drafters and litigators that arbitrator selection is a critical component of arbitration agreements. Two of the decisions involved tort claims against the same defendant, a cemetery owner. ...

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Severability Squared: Can Invalid Provisions Within an Arbitration Agreement Be Severed?

By Liz Kramer | December 6 2011

Validity of Arbitration Agreement Do you remember the moment when you first encountered the concept of arbitrating arbitrability?  Just the phrase is mind-bending!  It took me a while to wrap my head around the idea that parties could separately agree to arbitrate the question of whether they really had to arbitrate.   Well, here's a similar...

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Twin Decisions From Florida Supreme Court Throw One-Two Punch at Nursing-Home Arbitration Agreements

By Liz Kramer | November 30 2011

Validity of Arbitration Agreement The Supreme Court of Florida has moxie.  It issued two new decisions the day before Thanksgiving which go out of their way to sidestep and distinguish the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Rent-A-Center, West v. Jackson, 130 S. Ct. 2772 (2010), in order to find that nursing home residents may not be compelled to...

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A Real Horn of Arbitration Plenty

By Liz Kramer | November 23 2011

Uncategorized Happy Thanksgiving from Arbitration Nation!  There are no new and exciting cases to talk about,* so I am reverting to the Thanksgiving staple -- talking about what I am thankful for.  And, I am thankful for all of you!  Starting this blog has been one of the highlights of my professional year.  Not only has...

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Second Circuit Finds Courts Have Power To Enjoin Arbitration In Limited Circumstances

By Liz Kramer | November 17 2011

Appealing Arbitration Decisions, Litigation vs. Arbitration, Validity of Arbitration Agreement The Second Circuit just held that a federal court has the power to enjoin an ongoing arbitration.  In re Am. Express Fin. Advisors Sec. Litig., ___ F.3d ___, 2011 WL 5222784  (2nd Cir. 2011).  While many litigants would no doubt like a federal court to enjoin their arbitrations -- especially when arbitrators refuse...

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Dear Parties: “Piecemeal” Schmeecemeal. Just Arbitrate. Love, SCOTUS

By Liz Kramer | November 8 2011

Litigation vs. Arbitration, Uncategorized Despite the Supreme Court's best efforts, some myths of arbitration law just will not die.  In yesterday's per curiam decision of the Supreme Court, the Justices tried to put a stake through the heart of a common myth: that a party may successfully avoid a motion to compel arbitration by arguing that not all claims...

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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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You Don’t Have To Arbitrate Your Dispute With The Moving Company

By Liz Kramer | October 26 2011

Validity of Arbitration Agreement Just in time to participate in Arbitration Nation's (unplanned) series on legislative nullification of arbitration agreements,  the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that the Carmack Amendment nullifies pre-dispute arbitration agreements in interstate shipment contracts.  Smallwood v. Allied Van Lines,...

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