Liz Kramer

Liz Kramer

Stinson Leonard Street

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Fishermen Avoid Being Caught In Arbitration’s Net

What are the defining characteristics of an arbitration agreement? The dissent in a new 9th Circuit case took on that vexing issue, while the majority sidestepped it altogether while refusing to compel arbitration....more

5/23/2016 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Corporate Counsel Federal Arbitration Act Fishing Industry Motion to Compel Purchase Agreement

Sign O’ The Times: SCOTUS Denies Cert In Franchise Arbitration Dispute

On Monday of this week, after stringing the parties along for five months, SCOTUS denied cert in a case involving the intersection between arbitration and franchise regulation. The petition was filed in November of 2015,...more

4/22/2016 - Arbitration Business Profits Federal Arbitration Act Franchise Agreements Franchisee Franchises Mandatory Arbitration Clauses Misrepresentation Preemption Prince Restaurant Industry SCOTUS

Emerging Trends in Arbitration: Battle Brewing Between Executive and Judicial Branches

In recent years, arbitration has become a divisive issue. Exemplifying the increased public focus on arbitration, The New York Times ran a three-part series in 2015 that was very critical of the state of arbitration law. In...more

4/12/2016 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements CFPB Class Action Class Action Arbitration Waivers Consumer Contracts Consumer Financial Products Dodd-Frank Federal Arbitration Act Financial Sector Financial Services Industry Mandatory Arbitration Clauses NLRB Putative Class Actions Service Contracts

Exhibit C For The Case That California Is No Longer Anti-Arbitration

The Supreme Court of California this week enforced the arbitration agreement between an employee and employer. Yes, you read that right. While reputed to be reliably anti-arbitration, California’s highest court continues to...more

3/30/2016 - Arbitration Agreements CA Supreme Court Federal Arbitration Act Pre-Employment Agreements Unconscionable Contracts

In 3 Recent Decisions, Supreme Court of Arkansas Deeply Divided on Arbitration

The Supreme Court of Arkansas has issued three opinions within the span of four weeks, all on the topic of whether defendants can compel arbitration. Each of the opinions came with a vigorous dissent. The cases offer an...more

3/24/2016 - Arbitration Breach of Contract Federal Arbitration Act Motion to Compel Nursing Homes SCOTUS Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practices

SCOTUS Summarily Reverses Second Arbitration Case This Term

Showing it will soldier on without Justice Scalia, the Supreme Court granted cert, vacated, and remanded an arbitration decision from West Virginia yesterday. Because this is the exact same treatment the Court gave a case...more

3/1/2016 - Arbitration Federal Arbitration Act Remand SCOTUS Vacated

Scalia Sizzled on Arbitration

Justice Scalia wrote some blockbuster decisions about arbitration, enforcing arbitration agreements regardless of their real-world impact, and making a potentially dry topic exciting and contentious. Readers of his opinions...more

2/23/2016 - American Express v Italian Colors Restaurant Arbitration Agreements AT&T Mobility v Concepcion Class Action Arbitration Waivers Corporate Counsel Federal Arbitration Act Justice Scalia Young Lawyers

January Arbitration Update: Effective Vindication, Class Arbitration, and FAA Preemption

Lots of interesting arbitration law has been made already in 2016, so here is a roundup from the first four weeks of the year. As a teaser, courts have resuscitated the effective vindication doctrine, found arbitrators cannot...more

2/1/2016 - American Arbitration Association Arbitration Attorney's Fees Class Action Corporate Counsel Federal Arbitration Act

3 Year-End Arbitration Lessons From Appellate Courts

Before I can sum up 2015 in arbitration (next post!), I need to report on some new cases coming out of the federal and state appellate courts in recent weeks. Two are just good reminders of basic arbitration law, but the...more

12/21/2015 - Arbitration Family Businesses Federal Arbitration Act Filing Deadlines Interstate Commerce RICO

SCOTUS Finds California’s Contract Interpretation Skills Lacking In New Arbitration Decision

Just under the wire, SCOTUS released an arbitration opinion today, ensuring that 2015 would continue the string of years with cases interpreting the Federal Arbitration Act. In DIRECTV v. Imburgia, the Supreme Court found...more

12/15/2015 - Arbitration Agreements Class Action Arbitration Waivers DirectTV Federal Arbitration Act SCOTUS

“Older Workers” Do Not Have To Arbitrate Statutory Employment Claim

Arbitration is having its 15 minutes of fame. Thanks to a series in the New York Times, my inbox is full of links to the articles, questions about the information, and fascinating commentary. [Next time I am in Oakland, I...more

11/2/2015 - ADEA Arbitration CFPB Class Action Class Action Arbitration Waivers Collective Actions Consumer Financial Products Federal Arbitration Act General Mills New York Times OWBPA

Arbitration Puzzler: Nevada’s Anti-Waiver Rule Preempted; California’s Anti-Waiver Rule Not Preempted

Two opinions came out recently in disputes over the arbitrability of putative class actions alleging that employees were not paid for overtime (and other labor violations). In one, the Nevada Supreme Court acknowledged that...more

10/8/2015 - Arbitration AT&T Mobility AT&T Mobility v Concepcion Class Action Class Action Arbitration Waivers Federal Arbitration Act Iskanian Iskanian v CLS Transportation NLRA NLRB NV Supreme Court Preemption Putative Class Actions SCOTUS Unconscionable Contracts Unpaid Overtime Wage and Hour

SCOTUS Selects Second Arbitration Case For 2015 Term

2015 was a dry spell in arbitration decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court, but 2016 promises to be much more interesting. In addition to the California case being heard next week, SCOTUS just granted certiorari over another...more

10/2/2015 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements AT&T Mobility AT&T Mobility v Concepcion CA Supreme Court Certiorari Federal Arbitration Act Independent Contractors Military Service Members Misclassification Motion to Compel SCOTUS Severability Doctrine

Kentucky Supreme Court Compares Giving Up Jury Trial To Giving Up Parental Rights; Refuses To Enforce Arbitration

Nursing home arbitration agreements are among the most unpopular arbitration agreements around.  Last week, Kentucky’s Supreme Court issued a lengthy, but fractured, opinion, finding three arbitration agreements were never...more

9/28/2015 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Decedent Protection Federal Arbitration Act Health Care Providers Healthcare Jury Trial KY Supreme Court Long Term Care Facilities Motion to Compel Nursing Homes Personal Property Power of Attorney Preemption Supremacy Clause Wrongful Death

Musings on Tom Brady and Arbitrator Bias

Again this year, a famous athlete put the spotlight on the process of arbitration.  Earlier this month, Tom Brady succeeded in convincing a federal judge to vacate the arbitration award against Brady.  (The four-game...more

9/14/2015 - Arbitration Arbitration Awards Deflategate Federal Arbitration Act Football New England Patriots NFL Tom Brady Work Suspensions

Unvacated: 11th Circuit Finds Repeat Arbitrator Not Biased

The Eleventh Circuit has a lesson for future litigants: the presence of a repeat player is not enough to show the evident partiality needed to vacate an arbitration award under the Federal Arbitration Act. In Johnson v....more

8/28/2015 - Advertising Arbitration Breach of Contract Federal Arbitration Act Motion to Vacate

To (b)(1) or not to (b)(1): What to Call your Rule 12 Arbitration Motion

Let’s say your client gets sued in court, the parties have an arbitration agreement, and you want to compel arbitration right away and not mess around with any other court proceedings. You already know you can make a motion...more

8/21/2015 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Federal Arbitration Act Federal Rule 12(b)(1) Federal Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Compel

California Upholds Controversial Arbitration Clause Within Consumer Contract

California is changing its tune. Although previously known for decisions that flouted federal arbitration law, its decision yesterday in Sanchez shows the current California Supreme Court will abide by SCOTUS’s...more

8/5/2015 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements AT&T Mobility v Concepcion CA Supreme Court Class Action Consumers Legal Remedies Act Federal Arbitration Act Mercedes-Benz SCOTUS Waivers

Second Circuit Clarifies That Arbitrable Claims Should Be Stayed, Not Dismissed

Parties who ask a court to compel arbitration of all the plaintiff’s claims have a decision to make: should they ask the court to stay the claims or dismiss them (if it finds them arbitrable)? After noting that the federal...more

7/30/2015 - Arbitration Dispute Resolution Federal Arbitration Act Motion to Compel Motion To Stay

Should You Cut The Delegation Clause From Your Arbitration Agreement?

A recent report showed that less than half of arbitration agreements in the consumer financial arena include delegation clauses in their arbitration agreements. Two recent decisions from state high courts suggest that is a...more

7/15/2015 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Construction Contracts Construction Defects Delegation Clauses Dispute Resolution Federal Arbitration Act Homeowners SCOTUS Student Enrollment Unconscionable Contracts

Circuit Split Persists Regarding Whether Arbitrator’s “Manifest Disregard” Of Law Can Vacate Arbitration Award

Three years ago, this blog catalogued where all the federal circuits stood on the issue of whether an arbitration award that “manifestly disregarded the law” could be vacated under the Federal Arbitration Act, as that is not...more

6/25/2015 - Ameriprise Financial Arbitration Arbitration Awards Dispute Resolution Federal Arbitration Act Halliburton Manifest Disregard Mediation SCOTUS

Hawaii Finds Arbitration Agreement With “Severe Limitations on Discovery” is Unconscionable

Hawaii issued a bold arbitration decision this month. It applied its state contract law to conclude that the parties did not form a clear arbitration agreement, but even if they did, it was unconscionable because it...more

6/22/2015 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Corporate Counsel Declaration of Condominium Discovery Federal Arbitration Act Fiduciary Duty Mediation Punitive Damages Real Estate Market Unconscionable Contracts

A Modest Proposal: Change the Name of Arbitration

Arbitration has a brand recognition problem. Not enough people know what it is. The recent CFPB report summarized studies showing that even among consumers who know they have an arbitration clause, the majority do not...more

6/12/2015 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements CFPB Consumer Financial Contracts Federal Arbitration Act Mediation

Fifth Circuit Finds Parties Can Authorize Arbitrators By Their Conduct

The Fifth Circuit un-vacated an arbitration award last week, holding the district court had wrongly concluded that the court was the proper decision-maker on contract formation.  Although courts are presumptively authorized...more

5/13/2015 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Arbitration Awards Auction Broker Commissions Contract Terms Federal Arbitration Act Firearms Motion to Vacate

When Can A Party Recover Attorneys’ Fees Incurred Confirming An Arbitration Award?

If you won your arbitration, it is vexing to have to spend many thousands more in attorneys’ fees opposing a motion to vacate the arbitration award. (That is especially true if you signed up for arbitration thinking it was...more

5/7/2015 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Arbitration Awards Attorney's Fees Federal Arbitration Act Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Motion to Vacate

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