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

When Can A Party Recover Attorneys’ Fees Incurred Confirming An Arbitration Award?

By Liz Kramer | May 7 2015

Appealing Arbitration Decisions, Litigation vs. Arbitration, Scope of Arbitration Agreement If you won your arbitration, it is vexing to have to spend many thousands more in attorneys' fees opposing a motion to vacate the arbitration award.  (That is especially true if you signed up for arbitration thinking it was faster and avoided appeals.)  But, can you ask the court to award you the attorneys' fees...


Sands of time

Three State Courts Hold Timeliness Of Claim Is Issue For Arbitrator

By Liz Kramer | April 22 2015

Litigation vs. Arbitration In March, the highest courts of Montana, Texas, and Wisconsin all held that, when parties have a valid arbitration agreement, the issue of whether an arbitration demand was timely is presumptively for the arbitrator to decide.  That principle of law has been established under the FAA at least since the Howsam...


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5th Circuit Vacates Arbitration Award Conducted By Wrong Arbitrator Under Wrong Rules

By Liz Kramer | April 14 2015

Appealing Arbitration Decisions, Arbitration Rules/Procedures Let's say your arbitration agreement calls for arbitration administered by JAMS under JAMS rules, but the arbitrator is independent and applies AAA rules, over one party's objection.  A new decision from the Fifth Circuit says that is enough to vacate the resulting award. In Poolre Insurance Corp. v....


bean counter accounting banking concept

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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Eighth Circuit Shows How Difficult It Is To Prove Arbitration Agreement Unconscionable Due To Cost

By Liz Kramer | March 25 2015

Class Arbitration, Validity of Arbitration Agreement Almost two years ago in American Express Co. v. Italian Colors, SCOTUS significantly narrowed, but did not overrule, the "effective vindication" doctrine, which allows plaintiffs to invalidate an arbitration agreement if it precludes them from effectively vindicating their federal statutory rights.  A decision today...


Supreme Court Sunrise

SCOTUS Will Hear Arbitration Case in October Term

By Liz Kramer | March 23 2015

Class Arbitration, Litigation vs. Arbitration, Validity of Arbitration Agreement Just as I was beginning to worry that arbitration had fallen out of favor at the nation's highest court... today the Supreme Court announced that it will hear the case of DIRECTV, Inc. v. Imburgia during its October Term, an appeal from a California Court of Appeals.  In DIRECTV, a case pitting Kirkland &...


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Eighth Circuit Finds Former Employees Lack Standing To Challenge Employer’s New Arbitration Policy

By Liz Kramer | March 19 2015

Class Arbitration, Litigation vs. Arbitration What's one way to derail a potentially large collective action about Fair Labor Standards Act violations?  To implement a new arbitration policy within days, thereby ensuring that your current employees cannot join the court case.  At least, that was the successful tactic used by a Chicago restaurant...


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Beyond the Headlines Part II: What The New CFPB Report Teaches Us About Arbitration v. Litigation

By Liz Kramer | March 12 2015

Class Arbitration, Litigation vs. Arbitration In my last post, I shared some of the highlights from the first half of the new CFPB Arbitration Study.  This post covers the second half of the report, with juicy information gleaned from CFPB's analysis of almost 2,000 actual consumer arbitrations and its comparison of those results to actual consumer court...


Stack of waste paper

Beyond the Headlines Part I: What The New CFPB Report Teaches Us About Arbitration Clauses

By Liz Kramer | March 11 2015

Arbitration Rules/Procedures, Litigation vs. Arbitration The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released an “Arbitration Study” exceeding 700 pages to Congress this week.  You have likely heard the headlines – most commentators assume that the CFPB will use the study to support an effort to restrict or regulate the use of “pre-dispute” arbitration in financial...


Liberty Bell, Philadelphia, PA

Third Circuit Finds Pennsylvania Statute Preempted by FAA

By Liz Kramer | March 5 2015

Appealing Arbitration Decisions The Third Circuit recently found that the Federal Arbitration Act preempts a Pennsylvania statute that restricts corporate plaintiffs in state and federal court in Pennsylvania to those companies that are registered to do business in Pennsylvania.  Generational Equity, LLC v. Schomaker, 2015 WL 708481 (3d Cir. Feb....