Liz Kramer

Liz Kramer

Stinson Leonard Street

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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

Arbitration Award Vacated Because Arbitrators Were Impartial

Although we usually expect arbitrators to be impartial, the Supreme Court of Texas vacated an arbitration award because the chosen arbitrators were too impartial. Americo Life, Inc. v. Myer, __S.W.3d__, 2014 WL 2789429 (Tex....more

7/16/2014 - American Arbitration Association Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Arbitration Awards Impartiality Vacated

Appellate Courts Saving Arbitration Agreements Right and Left

In recent weeks, four federal and state appellate courts have vacated district court decisions that denied motions to compel arbitration. The courts seem to be saying to defendants with arbitration agreements: don’t worry if...more

7/10/2014 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Corporate Counsel Federal Arbitration Act

Eighth Circuit Finds Incorporation Of AAA Rules Authorizes Arbitrator To Determine Whether Non-Signatory Can Arbitrate

In a short and sweet opinion issued just six weeks after argument, the Eighth Circuit yesterday held that an arbitrator was authorized to decide whether a non-signatory was able to arbitrate a dispute. Eckert/Wordell...more

7/2/2014 - American Arbitration Association Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Construction Industry Arbitration Rules Non-Signatories

California Maintains Some Restrictions On The Waivers Allowable In Employment Arbitration Agreements

This week the Supreme Court of California held that the FAA preempts California’s 2007 Gentry ruling, one that protected employees from nearly all class action waivers in arbitration agreements. Iskanian v. CLS Transp. Los...more

6/26/2014 - Arbitration Class Action Class Action Arbitration Waivers CLS Transportation Employer Liability Issues Employment Contract Federal Arbitration Act Iskanian Mandatory Arbitration Clauses PAGA Trucking Industry

Alabama Confirms Arbitrators’ Grant of Judgment As A Matter of Law

Just as SCOTUS held its nose and confirmed an arbitration award it thought stunk in Sutter, the Supreme Court of Alabama has confirmed an arbitration award made after only the claimant presented evidence and grounded in a...more

6/17/2014 - Arbitration Arbitration Awards Ernst & Young Federal Arbitration Act

First Things First: There Must Be An Arbitration Agreement In Order To Compel Arbitration

Two courts recently refused to compel arbitration because the defendants could not prove that the parties had entered into an arbitration agreement at all. Therefore, the musical accompaniment to this post is “Do Re Mi” from...more

6/11/2014 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Mandatory Arbitration Clauses

Court Vacates $125M Award Due To Arbitrator’s Misleading Disclosures

Today we take a close look at that rare creature: an opinion finding sufficient basis under the FAA to vacate an arbitration award. In Tenaska Energy Inc. v. Ponderosa Pine Energy, LLC, __S.W.3d __, 2014 WL 2139215 (Tex. May...more

6/2/2014 - Arbitration Arbitrators Disclosure Federal Arbitration Act Misleading Statements

Labor Arbitrator Authorized To Void Agreement Based On Mutual Mistake

This week the Eighth Circuit confronted an interesting question: if a union member believed he failed a drug test, and therefore agreed his employer could terminate him if he tested positive again, can the arbitrator...more

5/16/2014 - Arbitration Arbitrators Last Chance Agreements Mistake Unions

Two Federal Circuits Find Health Insurance Claims Outside Scope Of Arbitration Clauses

Because courts apply a presumption of arbitrability when they analyze whether particular claims fall within the scope of an arbitration clause, and arbitration clauses are generally drafted very broadly, I don’t usually get...more

5/9/2014 - Allstate Arbitration Arbitration Agreements CIGNA Health Insurance Healthcare Mandatory Arbitration Clauses Medical Devices

Dodd-Frank Only Precludes Arbitration Of Whistleblower Actions

The Fourth Circuit found this week that the Dodd-Frank Act did not override all arbitration agreements betwen publicly-traded employers and their employees. Santoro v. Accenture Federal Servs., LLC, 2014 WL 1759072 (4th Cir....more

5/9/2014 - Accenture Age Discrimination Dodd-Frank Federal Arbitration Act Publicly-Traded Companies Whistleblowers

Third Circuit Finds Two Months Of Litigation Sufficient To Waive Right To Arbitrate

In a decision this week, the Third Circuit found two related parties had waived their right to arbitrate claims. One was no suprise — it had vigorously litigated the dispute for eleven months....more

5/5/2014 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Waivers

A Motion To Compel Arbitration “Answers” A Complaint

I field a lot of good procedural questions about how arbitration pleadings should be styled. Some of them are answered within the text of the FAA, but many of them leave clerks of court and practitioners scratching their...more

4/28/2014 - Arbitration Federal Arbitration Act Motion to Compel

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

Tenth Circuit Clarifies When Trial Is Necessary To Determine Arbitrability

In a beautifully written opinion, the Tenth Circuit examined an under-used aspect of the Federal Arbitration Act this week: having a jury or court trial. Usually disputes about arbitrability can be determined on a motion akin...more

4/17/2014 - Arbitration Federal Arbitration Act Trials

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

SCOTUS Will Not Reconsider Fate Of Delaware’s Business Arbitrations; NLRB’s Class Action Arbitration Decision Loses Again

SCOTUS announced today that it would not review the Third Circuit’s decision in Strine v. Delaware Coalition for Open Government, Inc, holding that Delaware’s Chancery Court could not offer its judges’ services as neutral...more

3/24/2014 - Arbitrators Class Action Collective Actions Federal Arbitration Act FLSA NLRB SCOTUS

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

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