Liz Kramer

Liz Kramer

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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

End Of The World As We Know It (for Employment Arbitration)?

Cue the R.E.M folks, because the Supreme Court of Missouri issued a 4-3 opinion recently that appears to upend many employment arbitration agreements in that state. Baker v. Bristol Care, Inc., __ S.W.3d__, 2014 WL 4086378...more

9/22/2014 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Federal Arbitration Act Putative Class Actions

Arbitration Agreement On Barnes & Noble’s Website Not Enforceable

In a case between an on-line customer and Barnes & Noble, the Ninth Circuit recently refused to enforce the arbitration agreement found in the website’s “Terms of Use.” Nguyen v. Barnes & Noble Inc., __ F.3d__, 2014 WL...more

9/11/2014 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Barnes and Noble Browsewrap Agreement Internet Retailers Retailers Terms of Use Websites

Seventh Circuit Finds Tribal Arbitration Is Unreasonable and Unconscionable

In a victory for advocates who worry that the odds are impossibly stacked against consumers in some arbitral fora, the Seventh Circuit found that a class of borrowers did not have to proceed with arbitration conducted by the...more

9/2/2014 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Forum Selection Clause Internet Lenders Native American Issues Usury

Nitty Gritty Advice for Compelling Arbitration under the FAA

I regularly receive questions about compelling arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act. In particular, people ask : (1) Can I file a motion to compel before any other “complaint” is filed; (2) What should I call my...more

8/22/2014 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Federal Arbitration Act Mandatory Arbitration Clauses Young Lawyers

ArbitrationNation’s Third Anniversary Threesome

After 155 posts, can there possibly be more to say? Yes, indeed. Three new opinions from federal courts of appeals demonstrate how new issues keep “cropping” up in arbitration law each week....more

8/15/2014 - AAA Arbitration Federal Arbitration Act

Another Federal Appeals Court Finds Availability of Class Arbitration Is Question for Court

In a footnote in Sutter, SCOTUS hinted that the question of whether an arbitration agreement allowed for class arbitration may be one of the “gateway” questions of arbitrability that are presumptively for courts to decide....more

8/4/2014 - Arbitration Class Action Class Action Arbitration Waivers Class Certification SCOTUS

Un-Vacated: Appellate Courts Save Arbitration Awards

In SPX Corp. v. Garda USA, Inc., __A.3d__, 2014 WL 2708631 (Del. June 16, 2014), the Delaware Court of Chancery vacated an arbitration award (under its state arbitration act) after concluding the arbitrator manifestly...more

7/23/2014 - Arbitration Arbitration Awards Collateral Estoppel Collective Bargaining Contract Interpretation Corporate Counsel

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