Liz Kramer

Liz Kramer

Stinson Leonard Street

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

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...more

3/26/2015 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Franchise Agreements Putative Class Actions RICO

SCOTUS Will Hear Arbitration Case in October Term

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...more

3/23/2015 - Arbitration Class Action Class Action Arbitration Waivers DirectTV DirecTV v Imburgia False Advertising SCOTUS

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

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...more

3/20/2015 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Collective Actions Employer Liability Issues FLSA Restaurant Industry

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

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...more

3/13/2015 - Arbitration CFPB Class Action Consumer Financial Products

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

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...more

3/12/2015 - American Arbitration Association Arbitration CFPB Consumer Financial Products Contract Drafting Loan Agreements

Third Circuit Finds Pennsylvania Statute Preempted by FAA

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...more

3/6/2015 - Federal Arbitration Act Preemption Principal Place of Business

Why The Arbitration Award Against Adrian Peterson Was Vacated

A federal judge in Minnesota today vacated the arbitration award that confirmed the NFL’s discipline of Adrian Peterson.  You can read the decision here.  The judge found two separate bases for vacating the award: 1) the...more

2/27/2015 - Adrian Peterson Arbitration Arbitration Awards CBAs NFL

Lessons From Lance Armstrong About the Finality of Arbitration Awards

On February 4, an arbitration panel ordered Lance Armstrong to pay $10 million to his former promotions company, SCA, as a result of his “unparalleled pageant of international perjury, fraud and conspiracy” that covered up...more

2/18/2015 - Arbitration Arbitration Awards Arbitrators Forfeiture Jurisdiction Lance Armstrong Sanctions

Fifth Circuit Un-Vacates Arbitration Award, Offering Guidance to District Courts

“When an arbitration goes an opponent’s way on the basis of questionable contract interpretation, parties often seek refuge in [Section] 10(a)(4).  But the Supreme Court has made clear that district courts’ review of...more

2/13/2015 - Arbitration Arbitration Awards Contract Interpretation Railroads

Rare Claim Falls Outside Arbitration Agreement, Creates Piecemeal Litigation

Because of the strong federal policy favoring arbitration, and cases providing that any doubt about the scope of an arbitration agreement must be resolved in favor of arbitration, it is uncommon to find a decision holding...more

2/9/2015 - Adverse Employment Action Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Family Businesses Shareholders Shareholders' Agreements

Even in the Ninth Circuit, Courts Should Not Intervene Mid-Arbitration

It is generally accepted that courts may only engage in the very front and very back end of an arbitration. At the outset, courts may determine whether the parties agreed to arbitrate the dispute, and at the end, courts may...more

2/2/2015 - Arbitration Conflicts of Interest Federal Arbitration Act

Who Decides Whether New Claims Are Precluded By Old Arbitration? An Arbitrator, Says 2d Circuit

We all know that the doctrines of issue preclusion (collateral estoppel) and claim preclusion (res judicata) apply with equal force to both arbitration awards and court orders. But, if your adversary brings new claims that...more

1/23/2015 - Arbitration Arbitration Awards Arbitrators Citigroup Collateral Estoppel Federal Arbitration Act Issue Preclusion Res Judicata

SCOTUS Allows California to Interpret Federal Arbitration Act As Excluding Private Attorney General Claims

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition for certiorari in the Iskanian case from the California Supreme Court. In doing so, SCOTUS allowed one of the most interesting Federal Arbitration Act interpretations in...more

1/21/2015 - Arbitration Enforcement Actions Federal Arbitration Act Iskanian Labor Code Petition for Writ of Certiorari Private Attorneys General Act Putative Class Actions SCOTUS

Second Circuit Un-Vacates Arbitration Award, Finding No Manifest Disregard

The Second Circuit reversed a district court’s vacatur of an arbitration award this week, finding that the arbitration panel did not manifestly disregard the law when it refused the respondent’s reading of a state statute. ...more

1/12/2015 - Appeals Arbitration Arbitration Awards Business Litigation Manifest Disregard Real Estate Brokers Real Estate Commissions

2014: The Year of Arbitrator Authority

A lot of interesting arbitration law was made this year, on topics from validity to vacatur, but the banner issue was arbitrator authority.  SCOTUS announced that theme for the year with its BG Group decision in March and...more

1/2/2015 - Arbitral Authority Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Arbitrators Barnes and Noble BG Group v Republic of Argentina CarMax Contract Formation Federal Arbitration Act General Mills Iskanian Robert Half SCOTUS SiriusXM

First Circuit Finds Plaintiff Waived Right to Arbitrate by Litigating for 9 Months

We haven’t had a good waiver case in a while. The First Circuit served one up last week with a flourish, teaching me multiple new words in the process (not for the first time, either). It found that a plaintiff had waived...more

12/12/2014 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Litigation Strategies Prejudice Waivers

New Survey Dispels Common Myths About Arbitration

Did you know that 87% of experienced arbitrators report *always* trying to follow applicable law in rendering an award? That will come as a surprise to many critics who like to complain that arbitrators do not adhere to...more

11/21/2014 - Arbitration Arbitration Awards Arbitrators D.R. Horton v NLRB FOIA SEC

Sirius XM Faces Class Action Because Arbitration Agreement Provided Late Is Invalid

A few months ago, the Ninth Circuit found that the arbitration agreement in Barnes & Noble’s website was not enforceable. This week, the Ninth Circuit found that the arbitration agreement Sirius XM Radio relied upon was not...more

11/14/2014 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Contract Formation Popular Putative Class Actions SiriusXM TCPA

Hawaii Finds Unilateral Arbitrator-Selection Provision Fundamentally Unfair

The Supreme Court of Hawai’i concluded last week that it is fundamentally unfair to allow one party to an arbitration agreement to unilaterally select the arbitral forum. Nishimura v. Gentry Homes, Ltd., __ P.3d__, 2014 WL...more

11/6/2014 - Arbitration Agreements Arbitrators Construction Contracts Construction Defects Construction Industry Forum Selection Clause General Contractors Putative Class Actions

Don’t Sign Your Spouse’s Arbitration Agreement, And Other Lessons From Non-Signatories

In three cases in recent months, courts have found that plaintiffs who did not sign an arbitration agreement (non-signatories) are not obligated to arbitrate. In all three cases, a key issue was that the plaintiff’s claims...more

11/3/2014 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Dispute Resolution Estate Planning

“Harmonizing” Contract Language Leads Two Circuit Courts To Deny Arbitration

Two parties recently convinced federal circuit courts that the language of their arbitration agreements was not sufficient to compel arbitration of their disputes. Both cases turned on how courts “harmonize” language from...more

10/23/2014 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Contract Interpretation Motion to Compel

Second Federal Circuit Court Refuses To Enforce Arbitration By South Dakota Tribe

Using a different analysis, but reaching the same result as a recent decision from the Seventh Circuit, the Eleventh Circuit agreed that a defendant could not compel arbitration of consumer claims before the Cheyenne River...more

10/16/2014 - Arbitration Loan Agreements Loan Servicer Native American Issues Tribal Loans

Minnesota Supreme Court Finds AAA Rules Give Arbitrator Power To Issue Sanctions Over $600 Million

The Minnesota Supreme Court today unanimously confirmed an arbitration award of over $600 million in punitive sanctions. Seagate Technology, LLC v. Western Digital Corp., (Minn. Oct. 8, 2014). Although the appellant argued...more

10/9/2014 - American Arbitration Association Arbitration Arbitration Agreements

Five Tips for State Courts Considering Whether to Vacate Arbitration Awards (ahem, South Dakota, Ohio)

In an example of “What Not to Vacate,” the South Dakota Supreme Court just vacated an arbitration award because the arbitrator dared to apply a South Dakota statute allowing attorneys’ fees to the claimant. A week earlier,...more

10/3/2014 - Arbitration Arbitration Awards Motion to Vacate

Arkansas and New Jersey Sidestep Concepcion Hurdle and Declare Consumer Arbitrations Invalid

Two state supreme courts found consumer arbitration agreements unenforceable in the past week: Arkansas and New Jersey. Arkansas grounded its decision on the lack of mutuality in the consumer arbitration agreement (similar to...more

9/29/2014 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements AT&T Mobility v Concepcion Federal Arbitration Act Fraud

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