Liz Kramer

Liz Kramer

Stinson Leonard Street

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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

CFPB’s Preliminary Report: Financial Consumers Can Only Avoid Arbitration By Using A Credit Union

Say it’s twenty degrees below zero outside, and you’d already seen boiling water turn into “snow” immediately upon making contact with the air, what would you do next? Assuming you were all caught up on your Words With...more

1/8/2014 - American Arbitration Association Arbitration Banking Sector CFPB Class Arbitration Contract Drafting Credit Unions Dispute Resolution Dodd-Frank Financial Companies Financial Regulatory Reform Mandatory Arbitration Clauses

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

Fifth Circuit Overrules NLRB, Finds D.R. Horton May Preclude Class Arbitration

After three federal circuits had already refused to defer to the NLRB’s decision in D.R. Horton, it is not surprising that the Fifth Circuit yesterday overruled the NLRB’s critical holding: that precluding class arbitrations...more

12/5/2013 - Arbitration Class Action Class Action Arbitration Waivers D.R. Horton D.R. Horton v NLRB NLRA NLRB

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

“Manifest Disregard Of The Law” Is Alive And Well And Vacating Arbitrations In Fourth Circuit

The Federal Arbitration Act sets forth only four bases for vacating arbitration awards. See 9 U.S.C. § 10 (a). After SCOTUS’s 2008 decision in Hall Street, at least half of the circuit courts have concluded that those four...more

11/7/2013 - Arbitration Arbitration Awards Contract Interpretation Federal Arbitration Act

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

3d Circuit Says Delaware Can’t Have Secret Arbitrations By Judges

The Third Circuit ruled last week that Delaware’s Chancery Court could not offer its judges’ services as neutral arbitrators in its courtrooms, unless those arbitrations were open to the public. In 2009, the Delaware...more

10/29/2013 - Arbitration Arbitrators Judges

Courts Stopping Non-Signatories From Compelling Arbitration Through Equitable Estoppel

Now that we know the Supreme Court is not going to be addressing non-signatories’ ability to compel arbitration this term (at least not in the Toyota case), we can take a moment to look at what lower courts are doing with...more

10/18/2013 - Arbitration Equitable Estoppel Mandatory Arbitration Clauses Non-Signatories

SCOTUS Set To Hear At Least One Arbitration Case This Term

The U.S. Supreme Court has been knocking out blockbuster arbitration opinions annually in recent years. 2010? Stolt-Nielsen and Rent-a-Center. 2011? Concepcion. 2012? CompuCredit (Okay, that does not qualify as a...more

10/10/2013 - BG Group v Republic of Argentina Bilateral Investment Treaties SCOTUS UNCITRAL

Rules Update: Improved AAA Commercial Rules; NAF Rules Not An Obstacle To Enforcing Arbitration

On October 1, new Commercial Arbitration Rules became effective at the American Arbitration Association (AAA). These rules are likely to apply to all commercial arbitrations filed on and after October 1 (unless an...more

10/3/2013 - American Arbitration Association Arbitration Enforcement Mandatory Arbitration Clauses

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

Second And Ninth Circuits Allow Employers To Preclude Collective FLSA Claims, Rejecting NLRB Ruling

In January of this year, the Eighth Circuit was the first federal appellate court to refuse to adopt the National Labor Relations Board’s ruling on class action waivers in employment contracts. (The previous year, in D.R....more

9/4/2013 - American Express v Italian Colors Restaurant Arbitration Collective Actions FLSA NLRB SCOTUS

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

First State Court Decision Is Reversed Under SCOTUS’ Amex Ruling

Put this post in the “I called it” category - On June 12, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court declared in Feeney that class arbitration waivers are invalid under Massachusetts law if plaintiffs cannot effectively...more

8/6/2013 - American Express American Express v Italian Colors Restaurant Arbitration Class Action Class Action Arbitration Waivers Federal Arbitration Act SCOTUS

Arbitration Awards Cannot Be Vacated Just Because Arbitrator Excluded Evidence

In two decisions this week, courts consider whether arbitration awards can be violated based on arbitrators’ decisions to exclude evidence. ...more

8/2/2013 - Arbitration Arbitration Awards Arbitrators Evidence Exclusions Vacated

Court Affirms Arbitrator’s Decision To Preclude Party From Defending Against Claim As Sanction For Fabricating Evidence

In a decision that confirms arbitrators’ broad discretion to not only fashion remedies, but also fashion sanctions, the Minnesota Court of Appeals held that an arbitrator did not exceed his power by issuing a severe sanction:...more

7/24/2013 - Arbitration Arbitrators Claim Preclusion Evidence Federal Arbitration Act Sanctions

If “Grave Error” Is Not Enough To Vacate An Arbitrator’s Decision, What Is?

The recent Sutter decision drives home repeatedly that a court may not vacate an arbitrator’s decision under the FAA just because a judge thinks the arbitrator reached the wrong result. ...more

7/11/2013 - Arbitration Arbitrators Binding Arbitration Federal Arbitration Act Plain Error

ArbitrationNation Roadmap: When Should You Choose JAMS, AAA Or CPR Rules?

Albert Einstein supposedly once said “you have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”...more

6/27/2013 - Arbitration Arbitration Awards Default Discovery Fees

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

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