News & Analysis as of

Another California Court Does Backflips To Thwart Arbitration And Elevate The Class-Action Device

The hostility of some California courts to arbitration—and their resistance to preemption under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA)—has produced nearly three decades of U.S. Supreme Court reversals. The most recent is AT&T...more

Waiting for Iskanian, Part 1 -- Gentry, Discover Bank and Concepcion

On Thursday, the California Supreme Court will hear arguments in the highly-anticipated Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC. Iskanian has produced several inches worth of paper from a host of interested parties in...more

Waiting for Iskanian, Part 4: Friends of the Defendant

As we await Thursday's oral argument before the California Supreme Court in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, our series of preview posts continues. This time in Part 4, we take a look at the seven amicus curiae...more

Eleventh Circuit Upholds Enforceability Of Class Action Waiver

Executive Summary: The Eleventh Circuit recently held that an arbitration agreement that waives an employee's ability to bring a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is enforceable under the Federal...more

Fla. Case Provides Practicum On Arbitrability

The Middle District of Florida recently, in U.S. Surety Co. v. Edgar, provided a practicum on arbitrability jurisprudence under the Federal Arbitration Act, answering key questions about (1) whether nonsignatories to an...more

Update on State Statutes Restricting "Out-of-State" Arbitrations - IADC ADR Committee Chair Val Stieglitz of Nexsen Pruet reports...

Congress passed the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) in 1925 to place arbitration agreements on the same footing as other contracts.1 Under the FAA, an arbitration provision “shall be valid, irrevocable, and enforceable, save...more

NLRB Takes D.R. Horton One Step Further While the Ninth Circuit Upholds Its Contrary Decision

On January 17, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board Judge Lisa D. Thompson concluded that an agreement that did not prohibit class or collective action still violated Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act...more

Tenth Circuit Holds FAA Preempts New Mexico Law On Unenforceability Of Unconscionable Arbitration Provisions

On January 28, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempts New Mexico common law that a compulsory-arbitration provision in a contract may be unconscionable and...more

Even If It Does Not Say So, an Arbitration Agreement May Preclude Class Actions

Nearly two years ago, in the now infamous D.R. Horton decision, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that it constitutes an unfair labor practice for an employer to require, as a condition of employment, that employees...more

Tenth Circuit Rejects State Law Challenge to FAA Primacy

In the aftermath of AT&T Mobility, LLC v. Concepcion and American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant, consumer lawyers have frequently argued that arbitration agreements should be invalidated if features other than the...more

D.R. Horton on Steroids: NLRB Invalidates Arbitration Agreement Without Class Waiver

As reported previously here, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”) in D.R. Horton, Inc., 357 NLRB No. 184 (2012), held that requiring employees to enter into an arbitration agreement containing a...more

D.R. Horton Still Alive: NLRB Judge Says Employer’s Intent to Compel Employees to Waive Class Claims Renders Arbitration Clause...

Although the Circuit Courts of Appeals that have addressed the issue currently stand united in the view that class arbitration waivers in individual employment contracts do not violate the National Labor Relations Act...more

NLRB Standing (read “Expanding”) Ground on D.R. Horton

In the controversial 2012 decision D.R. Horton, Inc., the NLRB held that mandatory arbitration agreements requiring all employment disputes to be resolved through individual (as opposed to class) arbitration violate NLRA §...more

NLRB ALJ Says That Under D.R. Horton, Actions Speak As Loudly as Words

A few weeks ago, we posted about the Fifth Circuit’s decision in the D.R. Horton case and the NLRB’s doctrine of non-acquiescence. As you will recall, in D.R. Horton, the NLRB held that an employer violates the right of...more

D.R. Horton and the Arbitration Hotchpotch: Emerging “Rules” and the Future of Compelled Arbitration in California

Last December, the Fifth Circuit issued its long-awaited decision in D.R. Horton, Inc. v. NLRB, holding that employers may require employees to sign arbitration agreements categorically waiving the right to pursue employment...more

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

Court Nixes Non-Appealability Clause in Arbitration Agreement

Generally speaking, arbitration is a matter of contract, and arbitration agreements must be enforced according to their terms. The Ninth Circuit recently issued a caveat, however. In In re Wal-Mart Wage & Hour Employment...more

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

Hall Street Runs Both Ways: Parties Can Neither Waive Nor Expand Judicial Review of Arbitration Awards, Says Ninth Circuit

Back in 2008, the Supreme Court held in Hall Street Associates, L.L.C. v. Mattel, L.L.C. that parties to an arbitration agreement subject to the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) cannot agree to empower a federal court with more...more

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

Class Action Waiver in Arbitration Agreement Survives NLRA Challenge

Finding the National Labor Relations Board failed to give appropriate weight to the Federal Arbitration Act, the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a Board decision invalidating an arbitration agreement that...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - December 2013

Finding the National Labor Relations Board failed to give appropriate weight to the Federal Arbitration Act, the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a Board decision invalidating an arbitration agreement that...more

Horton Hears a Reversal

On Tuesday, December 3rd, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the enforcement of mandatory arbitration provisions that include a class waiver. In D.R. Horton, Inc. v. NLRB, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 24073 24073 (5th Cir....more

Fifth Circuit Overturns NLRB Decision on Class and Collective Action Waivers

On December 3, the Fifth Circuit set aside the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB” or “Board”) ruling that the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) prohibits employers from including class or collective action waivers...more

Fifth Circuit Permits Class Action Waivers In Arbitration Agreements

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently handed a victory to employers in D.R. Horton, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, 12-60031, 2013 W.L. 6231617 (5th Cir. Dec. 3, 2013), reversing an Order of the National Labor...more

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