News & Analysis as of

Circuit Courts Address Impact of Arbitration Agreements on Labor Class and Collective Actions

In Conners v. Gusano’s Chicago Style Pizzeria, plaintiffs, former employees of defendant, brought a collective action alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Defendant responded by implementing a binding...more

Supreme Court Won’t Review Class Arbitrability Question Now, But Second Circuit May Hear Case That Could Generate Circuit Split

The United States Supreme Court recently declined to review a Third Circuit decision holding that ordinarily a court, not an arbitrator, determines the availability of classwide arbitration. Opalinski v. Robert Half...more

CFPB Says Arbitration Agreements Limit Consumer Relief in Class Actions; New Regulations on the Horizon?

The Supreme Court’s 2011 decision in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion upheld an arbitration clause requiring arbitration of claims individually, thereby effectively preventing class actions. While the consumer finance industry...more

Arbitration Agreements Can Backfire on Employers

It is no secret that arbitration agreements may greatly reduce the risks that many employers face in disputes with employees. For example, when used correctly, such agreements can curb exposure to class actions by forcing...more

The Beginning of the End for Class Action Litigation? Why Justice Scalia and the Current Supreme Court Are Good for Business

In American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant, the Supreme Court confirmed what it had only hinted at two years earlier in AT&T Mobility, LLC v. Concepcion. In a holding authored by Justice Scalia, the Court made plain...more

Who Determines if Class Arbitration is Available? Why it Matters and Will the Supreme Court Decide

In the wake of several favorable U.S. Supreme Court decisions, companies increasingly are using arbitration agreements to control their exposure to class action liability. Although recent cases have reinforced the power of...more

Multiple PAGA Representative Claims Crumble As Federal Courts Continue To Reject Iskanian and Enforce Arbitration Agreements...

When the California Supreme Court decided Iskanian v. CLS Transp. Los Angeles, LLC, 59 Cal. 4th 348 (2014), this June, some legal commentators assumed that employees could not waive pre-litigation claims under the Private...more

Who Decides the Issue of Class Arbitration?

Two districts of the California Court of Appeal recently issued significant decisions on arbitration agreements. In a published case, the Fourth Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal held that if the...more

Further Thoughts on the St. John’s Consumer Arbitration Study

Jeff Sovern, through his Consumer Law & Policy Blog, recently responded to our criticism that the St. John’s study didn’t include arbitration provisions with opt-out features. Jeff makes the point that since consumers don’t...more

NLRB Reaffirms D.R. Horton Decision Invalidating Arbitral Class Action Waivers

In a controversial decision that rejects the precedent of numerous federal and state courts, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has reaffirmed its earlier decision in D.R. Horton, Inc., 357 NLRB No. 184 (2012). In...more

Murphy Oil USA, Inc.: NLRB Holds on Class Action Arbitration Agreements - NLRB Reaffirms Its 2012 D.R. Horton Ruling Despite...

The National Labor Relations Board (Board) in Murphy Oil USA, Inc. and Sheila M. Hobson (Murphy Oil) refused to back away from its controversial 2012 ruling in D.R. Horton, Inc. and Michael Cuda (D.R. Horton) finding class...more

High-Court Showdown Looming? NLRB Defends D.R. Horton Section 7 Decision with Full-Throated Rebuttal in Murphy Oil

In the wake of federal circuit courts rejecting its position on the issue of class action waivers, the National Labor Relations Board is digging in its heels, perhaps preparing itself for a Supreme Court battle. Employers...more

California Court Implements Iskanian, Finds Agreement Waiving Representative Claims Under PAGA Unenforceable

Ybarra v. Apartment Investment and Management Company, No. B245901 (October 7, 2014): A California Court of Appeal recently affirmed a trial court decision finding that a class action waiver provision in an employee’s...more

In California, Who Decides If An Arbitration Agreement Covers Class Arbitration?

Network Capital Funding Corp. v. Papke, No. G049172 (October 9, 2014): A California Court of Appeal recently held that absent “clear and unmistakable” language in an arbitration agreement authorizing an arbitrator to decide...more

NLRB Attempts to Make an End Run Around Courts Invalidating its Rulings on Arbitration Agreements

On October 28, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued its decision in Murphy Oil USA Inc., once again attempting to prohibit employers from requiring employees to enter into agreements to arbitrate...more

Recent Cases of Note - Class Action Quarterly: Volume 2, Issue 3

Fifth Circuit Addresses CAFA’s Local Controversy Exception - The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently held that courts should only look to the complaint in effect at the time of removal when determining if...more

Business Litigation Reporter -- October 2014

California - Browsewrap Arbitration Agreement Not Enforced Against Individual Consumer. In Nguyen v. Barnes & Noble Inc., 2014 WL 4056549 (9th Cir. Aug. 18, 2014), the Ninth Circuit affirmed the denial of B&N’s motion...more

California’s Second and Fourth Appellate Districts Split Over Who Should Decide Whether Agreement Authorizes Class Arbitration –...

In Network Capital Funding Corporation v. Papke, G049172, 2014 WL 5035099 (Cal. Ct. App. Oct. 9, 2014), the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District declined to follow the reasoning of the Second Appellate...more

American Arbitration Association Panel Distinguishes Third Circuit’s Holding in Opalinski

The intersection of class actions and arbitration continues to raise issues for parties to consider in evaluating whether arbitration clauses do or do not permit class actions in arbitration. One such issue involves who gets...more

Is Your Arbitration Agreement Still Enforceable in Missouri After Baker v. Bristol Care, Inc.?

This summer, the Missouri Supreme Court issued a decision that will affect arbitration agreements relied on by employers across the state. The decision—one of many in a recent trend of Missouri cases restricting the...more

Arbitration Denied In Class Action Where Plaintiff’s Trust Was A Party To Arbitration Agreement, But Plaintiff Was Not

In a life settlement transaction, in which a life insurance policy is sold by its owner to another for more than its cash-surrender value but less than the net death benefit, the seller contended that the broker and purchaser...more

Corporate Insurance Trends 2014

Although we are seeing the tail end of many of the claims which arose from the Global Financial Crisis, the sophisticated plaintiff’s bar and ever-developing class action landscape means that companies and their officers will...more

California Court Determines Arbitrator Must Decide Whether Class Claims Are Subject to Arbitration Agreement

When an employee who has signed an arbitration agreement files a lawsuit alleging individual claims along with class action claims, and the trial court has ordered him to take his individual claims to arbitration, what...more

Want to Arbitrate Employee Disputes? Keep Your Paperwork!

Arbitration agreements, and their use as a means to avoid class action disputes in particular, have been repeat news items in the last several years, and many companies continue to consider their use as a means to mitigate...more

Is a FLSA Collective Action Waiver by Itself in a Severance Agreement Enforceable? Sixth Circuit Says “No.”

Employers have recently enjoyed some victories in the U.S. Supreme Court and in the California Supreme Court regarding the use of class/collective action waivers in employment arbitration agreements (e.g. Italian Colors and...more

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