Liz Kramer

Liz Kramer

Stinson Leonard Street

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Three Lessons On Appealing From Arbitrations

Three decisions came out recently that offer guidance on appealing from arbitration awards. Here are three pearls of arbitration appeal wisdom, one from each case...more

4/18/2014 - Appeals Arbitration Arbitration Agreements

Arbitration Clauses Survive Their Contracts 99% Of The Time

The Sixth Circuit recently answered a question I get asked regularly: does an arbitration clause survive the termination of the contract containing it? I usually say yes, and thankfully the Sixth Circuit backed me up....more

4/1/2014 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Employment Contract FLSA Mandatory Arbitration Clauses Motion to Compel

Employer’s Attempt To Avoid Ongoing Collective Action By Forcing Potential Plaintiffs To Sign Arbitration Agreements Fails

In the past year, if I wrote about “FLSA” and “arbitration” in the same post, it likely meant that another federal court had found employers can include class action waivers in their employment contracts without violating the...more

4/1/2014 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Collective Actions FLSA

Incorporating Arbitration Agreements By Reference: The Key Is Reasonable Notice

In recent months, three federal circuit courts have confronted this question: can a defendant compel arbitration even in the absence of a signed written agreement containing an arbitration clause? The answers were yes, no,...more

1/22/2014 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Mandatory Arbitration Clauses Notice Requirements

What A-Rod Can Teach About A-rbitration

Arbitration is in the news. Not just a buried paragraph in the business section, but the front page. (A three-arbitrator panel issued a 34-page arbitration award finding Major League Baseball was justified in suspending...more

1/14/2014 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Arbitration Awards Federal Arbitration Act

The Easiest Arbitration Agreement To Avoid May Be The One Between Attorney And Client

The First and Ninth Circuits recently issued opinions concerning the validity of state laws requiring “informed consent” to, or “full disclosure” of, arbitration clauses in attorney retainer agreements. Although the First...more

12/24/2013 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Federal Arbitration Act Mandatory Arbitration Clauses

Ninth Circuit Says Arbitration Agreements Cannot Restrict Grounds For Vacating Award

In the Hall Street decision in 2008, SCOTUS held that parties could not contractually enlarge Section 10 of the Federal Arbitration Act by agreeing that a court could vacate the arbitration award for reasons not found in that...more

12/19/2013 - Appeals Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Arbitration Awards Federal Arbitration Act Motion to Vacate

West Virginia Has A Change Of Heart About Arbitration

A few months ago, you would have reasonably thought that West Virginia was one of the most anti-arbitration states in the country. There was not an unconscionability argument that the state didn’t seem to buy with respect to...more

11/25/2013 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Employee Handbooks

Sixth Circuit Is First To Find Availability Of Class Arbitration Is Gateway Issue To Be Decided By Courts

Just four months ago, SCOTUS suggested (but did not hold) that the decision to allow class arbitrations might be a “gateway” issue of arbitrability that defaults to courts. This week, the Sixth Circuit was the first to take...more

11/11/2013 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Class Action Contract Drafting SCOTUS

Halloween Special: Scary Results If Employers Overreach In Arbitration Clauses

No haunted house can scare general counsel as much as an opinion invalidating their company’s arbitration clause and thereby allowing a class action to proceed. So, here is a Halloween tale for all to keep in mind....more

11/1/2013 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Class Action Contract Drafting Corporate Counsel Halloween Unconscionable Contracts

Two Circuit Courts Demonstrate How Difficult It Is To Vacate Arbitration Awards

The Second Circuit decision has more drama, so I’ll start there. In Kolel Beth Yechiel Mechil of Tartik-Ov, Inc. v. YLL Irrevocable Trust, __ F.3d __, 2013 WL 4609100 (2d Cir. Aug. 30, 2013), the losing party in an...more

9/26/2013 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Arbitration Awards Collective Bargaining Federal Arbitration Act Issue Preclusion Unions

Illusoriness Gains In Popularity As An Arbitration Buster

You hear more about Lena Dunham than you expect, given the audience for “Girls”, right? (Read this article for more.) The same is true, or should be true, for the contract defense of illusoriness. After decades of disuse,...more

9/18/2013 - Affirmative Defenses Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Contract Interpretation

The Next Frontier Of Arbitration Litigation: Lessons From State Courts

After reading more than 40 decisions about arbitration from state high courts, issued just in the past eight months, I have two bits of wisdom to share....more

8/20/2013 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements AT&T Mobility v Concepcion Litigation Strategies Mandatory Arbitration Clauses Preemption

Employment Class And Collective Action Insight: U.S. Supreme Court Holds That Arbitration Class-Action Waivers Are Valid, Even If...

On June 20, 2013, in American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant, the U.S. Supreme Court held that, under the Federal Arbitration Act, courts cannot invalidate a class arbitration waiver on the ground that the...more

6/26/2013 - American Express American Express v Italian Colors Restaurant Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Class Action Class Action Arbitration Waivers Federal Arbitration Act SCOTUS

SCOTUS Says “Tough Luck” To Plaintiffs Whose Claims Are Too Pricey To Prove In Individual Arbitrations

In American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant, a divided Supreme Court today reversed the Second Circuit and held that plaintiffs may not invalidate an arbitration agreement containing a class action waiver merely...more

6/21/2013 - American Express American Express v Italian Colors Restaurant Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Class Action Federal Arbitration Act Legal Costs SCOTUS Sherman Act The Clayton Act Waivers

Massachusetts Invalidates Arbitration Agreement Because Plaintiffs Could Not Effectively Pursue Small Value Claims

As we were waiting for SCOTUS’s decision in AmEx, we got a decision on vindicating statutory rights from a different high court: the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. ...more

6/14/2013 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Class Action Class Action Arbitration Waivers

Recipe For The Best Arbitration Agreement Ever (Post #100)

As a thank you to all the subscribers and readers who continue fueling Arbitration Nation’s success, this 100th blog post contains my recipe for the Best Arbitration Agreement Ever. (I know, where did the time go?? The blog...more

5/10/2013 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Mandatory Arbitration Clauses

Arbitrator’s Creative IP Remedy Upheld Because It Furthered “General Aims Of Agreement”

In a dispute over whether an arbitrator has authority to grant a video game developer and publisher a perpetual license in the intellectual property as a remedy for the developer’s fraud and breaches of contract, the Fifth...more

4/26/2013 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Arbitration Awards Federal Arbitration Act Fraud Remedies Video Games

Plaintiffs Must Arbitrate Individually, Even If It Means No “Pattern-Or-Practice” Claim

All the cool kids are talking about class arbitration lately. . . There are the two cases pending before SCOTUS, and now the Second Circuit confirms its place in the “in crowd” with a decision forcing a class of employees...more

3/28/2013 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Class Action Discrimination Gender Discrimination Goldman Sachs SCOTUS

SCOTUS Struggles With Standard Of Review For Arbitrator’s Decision To Allow Class Arbitration

While the oral argument before the United States Supreme Court in Sutter today was ostensibly about whether to affirm an arbitrator’s decision that the parties’ contract authorized class arbitration, the decision really turns...more

3/26/2013 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Class Action Class Certification Federal Arbitration Act SCOTUS Standard of Review

Nursing Home Cannot Compel Arbitration Under Agreement Signed By Deceased Resident’s Son

The Eighth Circuit made quick work of a nursing home’s argument in favor of compelling arbitration this week. In a suit alleging negligent care of a resident, the court ruled that the arbitration agreement was not...more

3/7/2013 - Arbitration Agreements Nursing Homes

SCOTUS Hears AmEx III: Argument Highlights

The Supreme Court heard arguments in AmEx III today, the case that presents the question whether an arbitration agreement precluding class actions can be invalid if it makes it impossible for plaintiffs to vindicate federal...more

2/28/2013 - American Express American Express v Italian Colors Restaurant Arbitration Agreements AT&T Mobility v Concepcion Class Action Class Action Arbitration Waivers Federal Arbitration Act SCOTUS

“Cheeky” Maryland Rule, Requiring Mutuality In Arbitration Agreements, Not Preempted Under Concepcion

In most cases, if this blog mentions Concepcion, it means that a court has found a state statute or line of decisions is preempted by the FAA. A Maryland rule, however, recently ran the Concepcion gauntlet and survived. See...more

2/28/2013 - Arbitration Agreements AT&T Mobility v Concepcion Buyers Mutual Agreement Procedure Sellers Severability Doctrine Waivers

Authority To Enter Into Contract Is Issue For Courts, Not Arbitrators

The Third Circuit just issued a decision that tries to divine the dividing line between challenges to the formation of contracts containing arbitration clauses (which are presumptively for courts), and challenges to the...more

2/22/2013 - Arbitration Agreements Condominium Associations Contract Formation Ultra Vires

Non-Signatories Lose In Two Federal Circuits When Trying To Enforce Arbitration

Two federal circuit courts recently reversed district court decisions allowing non-signatories to compel arbitration. The analysis emphasizes that for a defendant to prove equitable estoppel compels arbitration, the...more

2/22/2013 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Class Action Arbitration Waivers Equitable Estoppel Grocery Stores Motion to Compel Non-Signatories Supply Contracts

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