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California Court of Appeal holds certain class action waivers may be unenforceable

Class action waivers have become common in consumer contracts, including sales agreements to purchase newly constructed residences and employment agreements, which may also contain arbitration clauses. After last year’s...more

Sixth Circuit Clarifies Prior Reversal Of An Order That Had Vacated Arbitration Award As A Manifest Disregard Of The Law

After an arbitrator ruled that indemnification agreements between an acquiring company and certain former directors and trustees of employee stock ownership plans, were void under ERISA, the district court vacated the...more

Labor & Employment E-Note - September 2015

The National Labor Relations Board’s (the Board) Democratic majority handed the organized labor movement one of its biggest legal victories in recent years. The decision radically redefines the concept of “joint employment”...more

Second Circuit Denies JP Morgan’s Attempt To Force Arbitration

The Second Circuit affirmed a New York district court ruling that found that the FINRA arbitration rules, one of which prohibits arbitration of putative or collective class actions, was incorporated within the subject...more

Commonwealth Court Affirms, Expands Public Employers’ Ability to Control Manning, Pension Costs through Collective Bargaining,...

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania significantly strengthened public employers’ ability to address rising costs by holding that minimum shift manning requirements are a non-bargainable managerial prerogative. The court...more

Fourth Circuit Rejects Characterization Of Motions “For Reconsideration,” Remands To Determine Whether Dispute Is Arbitrable

The Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently remanded a case to the district court for full consideration of a request to compel arbitration, finding the lower court’s order “inconsistent with the emphatic federal...more

Federal Arbitration Case Update | Compelling and Appealing

Following are two recent federal court rulings related to arbitration. Acknowledgement of Dispute Resolution Policy Sufficient to Compel Arbitration of Retaliation Claim - Ashbey v. Archstone Property Management,...more

For Life Insurers and Agents – A Summary of Predicted Litigation Under the DOL’s Proposed Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor’s recent Proposed Rule (the “Proposal”), which defines the term “fiduciary” as it applies to persons who provide “investment advice” to ERISA plans and IRAs, will impact the likelihood and severity of...more

Spring Vacations: Which arguments are winning on appeals from arbitration so far in 2015?

Today I present a collection of recent state and federal appellate court decisions that vacate or un-vacate arbitration awards. The seven opinions below emphasize how difficult it is to prove that an arbitrator exceeded his...more

6th Circuit Holds that Accountants Conducting Financial Arbitration Can Also Make Legal Determinations

A new case from the Sixth Circuit addresses whether accountants who are resolving a dispute about payments made under an agreement can also make legal determinations about the same agreement. In a 2-1 decision, the Sixth...more

CFPB Hot Topics for 2015

Despite rumblings from the new Congress about reining in the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Bureau has indicated a packed agenda for 2015. Following an aggressive push in 2014, the attention of the CFPB...more

Appellate Court Notes

SC19216 - Sikorsky Financial Credit Union, Inc. v. Butts - Finally some clarity in rules pertaining to the award of post-judgment interest. Here the (consumer) loan agreement provided that interest would accrue at 9%...more

Florida Appellate Court: Open Meetings Law Applies to Collective Bargaining

In a crucial victory for transparency, a Florida state appeals court ruled that the state's open meetings law will not "condone hiding behind federal mediation" when municipal governments try "to thwart the requirements of...more

Third Circuit Affirms Whistleblowers Must Arbitrate Under Dodd-Frank

On December 8, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that application of Dodd-Frank’s Anti-Arbitration provision did not apply to causes of action asserted under the Anti-Retaliation Dodd Frank Provision due to...more

3d Cir.: Dodd-Frank Anti-Arbitration Provisions Do Not Apply To Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Retaliation Claims

On December 8, 2014, the Third Circuit ruled that Dodd-Frank’s anti-arbitration provisions do not invalidate pre-dispute arbitration agreements with respect to whistleblower retaliation claims brought pursuant to the...more

Third Circuit Issues First Appellate Decision Compelling Arbitration of Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claim

In Khazin v. TD Ameritrade, No. 14-1689, 2014 WL 6871393 (3rd Cir. Dec. 8, 2014), the Third Circuit affirmed a lower court’s decision compelling arbitration of a Dodd-Frank whistleblower retaliation claim. This is the first...more

UPDATE: Third Circuit Affirms Arbitrability of Dodd-Frank Retaliation Claim in Khazin v. TD Ameritrade Holding Corp., ___ F.3d...

In March, we wrote about a ruling out of the District of New Jersey enforcing an arbitration provision contained in an employment agreement that pre-dated Dodd-Frank. The court reasoned that to disregard a pre-Dodd-Frank...more

FINRA: Firms Should Not Restrict Whistleblower Rights

Why it matters - In a new regulatory notice, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) reminded regulated firms not to prohibit the exercise of whistleblower rights in settlement agreements with employees and...more

Third Circuit Sizes Up Dodd-Frank’s Anti-Arbitration Provision

On October 24, 2014, in Khazin v. TD Ameritrade Holding Corp, et al., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit heard oral argument on an issue of first impression (within that forum): whether Dodd-Frank applies...more

FINRA Issues Guidance Notice To Warn Against Settlements Barring Whistleblower Tips

This month, FINRA issued guidance notice 14-40 to reminds firms that “it is a violation of FINRA Rule 2010 (Standards of Commercial Honor and Principles of Trade) to include confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements...more

Florida Appellate Court: Open Meeting Law Applies to Collective Bargaining - The Florida Court Holds That a Mediation Settlement...

In a crucial victory for transparency, a Florida state appeals court ruled on Oct. 21, 2014, that the law will not "condone hiding behind federal mediation" when municipal governments try "to thwart the requirements of the...more

Legal Briefs: A Periodic Summary of Judicial Decisions Affecting Accounting and Financial Services Professionals - October 2014

The New Jersey District Court recently ruled that an economic damages expert retained by plaintiffs’ counsel in a class action was not entitled to any further compensation for his work. The facts in Rothstein v. Harstad...more

FINRA Reminds Anti-Whistleblower Provisions Are Not Permitted in Settlement Agreements

FINRA has published a regulatory notice where it reminds firms that it is a violation of FINRA Rule 2010 (Standards of Commercial Honor and Principles of Trade) to include confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements...more

FINRA Provides New Carve-Out Provisions to Include in Settlement and Confidentiality Agreements

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Member Firms have new language to include in their settlement and confidentiality agreements. On October 9, FINRA released Regulatory Notice (RN) 14-40, warning that firms are...more

Take 5 Newsletter: Five Documents That Financial Services Employers Should Revisit Now

With summer here, including its long days and blazing heat, many thoughts may turn to beaches, sunshine, and lazy afternoons. The summer may also be a good time for employers—especially those in the financial services...more

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