Arbitration Supreme Court of the United States Federal Arbitration Act

Arbitration is a widely-used method for settling disputes between parties. During arbitration, parties submit their dispute to an impartial third person or party, usually chosen by the parties. Typically, parties... more +
Arbitration is a widely-used method for settling disputes between parties. During arbitration, parties submit their dispute to an impartial third person or party, usually chosen by the parties. Typically, parties to arbitration agree in advance to be bound by the arbitrator's decision. Arbitration is an alternative to litigation, but it shares many of the familiar features of litigation. Namely, parties to arbitration hold hearings before neutral decision-makers, present evidence and argue the merits of their position. Parties often choose arbitration due to its perceived advantages over litigation. Those perceived advantages include greater efficiency and flexibility, and lower costs. less -
News & Analysis as of

Arbitration Clauses Under Attack – Do They Harm Consumers?

Arbitration clauses are a common feature in a large part of my business litigation practice. They are generally enforceable under both federal and state statutes (e.g., the Federal Arbitration Act and the Tennessee Uniform...more

Fenwick Employment Brief

Legislative Update - Governor Brown recently signed into state law the following employment law bills (among others): SB 358—Referred to as the California Fair Pay Act, this law is directed at closing the pay...more

The Supreme Court Preview, Part II: Tuning Up Arbitration Clauses

This is the second post in our series “The Supreme Court Preview,” - California state and federal courts have a rocky history with the U.S. Supreme Court, as the highest court in the land has repeatedly reversed the...more

Governor’s Pen Sends Anti-Employment Arbitration Bill to the Grave

On October 11—his very last day to sign or veto bills—Governor Brown vetoed the much-feared Assembly Bill 465. AB 465 would have banned mandatory agreements to arbitrate Labor Code claims as a condition of employment. At...more

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Takes Aim at Class Action Waivers in Arbitration Clauses

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) last week announced its intent to launch a rulemaking process that would prohibit companies from using arbitration clauses that waive class action lawsuits. The CFPB's proposal...more

McCarran-Ferguson Lands a Jab on the FAA

As we reported in this space late last year, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 131 S.Ct. 1740, 1745 (2011), tilted the scales toward federal power in the field of arbitration, preempting...more

Struggle At The Supreme Court Over Arbitration Clauses

The U.S. Supreme Court returned to familiar territory last week in DirecTV Inc. v. Imburgia (argued Oct. 6, 2015): the enforceability of an arbitration clause in a consumer contract containing a class action waiver. But...more

U.S. Supreme Court’s October 2015 Term Promises Slew of Significant Labor and Employment Cases

Each year, the U.S. Supreme Court begins its term on the first Monday in October. Although known as the “October Term,” the term in fact continues, alternating between two-week “sittings” and “recesses,” until late June or...more

Supreme Court Agrees to Review California Rule Invalidating Contractor Arbitration Agreements

On October 1, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal of a company whose mandatory arbitration agreements with its contractors were deemed invalid by California state courts. Once again, the Court will determine...more

Tennessee Supreme Court Holds That State Unconscionability Law Does Not Implicate Concepcion And Is Not Preempted By FAA

The Supreme Court of Tennessee reversed the lower courts’ rulings that a non-mutual arbitration provision in an installment contract on the sale of a manufactured home was unconscionable and unenforceable. In doing so,...more

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

Supreme Court Update: Maryland V. Kulbicki (14-848) And Order List

… und willkommen zurück! Oktober Term 2015 kicks off today with argument in OBB Personenverkehr AG v. Sachs (13-1067), a case which explores the contours of the commercial-activity exception to the Foreign Sovereign...more

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

9th Circuit Rejects Representative Action Waivers for PAGA Claims

If you read one thing... - With 9th Circuit ruling, California federal courts no longer a potential channel for employers to enforce representative action waivers for PAGA claims...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

California Moves Toward Ban On Mandatory Arbitration of Labor Claims

On August 31, the California Legislature passed AB 465, aiming to “ensure that a contract to waive any of the rights, penalties, remedies, forums, or procedures under the Labor Code”—such as an arbitration agreement—is “a...more

Man Bites Dog: California Supreme Court unanimously rejects unconscionability challenge to consumer arbitration provision

The California Supreme Court has a reputation for hostility to arbitration, especially in the consumers and employment context. Much of the arbitration docket of the United States Supreme Court over the past 30 years has...more

California Supreme Court Upholds Arbitration Clause, but Unconscionability Remains a Defense to Arbitration

The California Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Sanchez v. Valencia Holding Company, LLC, on August 3, 2015, reversing a finding by the Court of Appeal that an arbitration provision was unconscionable...more

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

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

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

Justices Pass on Second Opportunity to Resolve the California PAGA Divide in the Bridgestone Case

For a second time the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case challenging a California Supreme Court holding that the state’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) could not be waived in a mandatory arbitration agreement....more

Supreme Court Denies Review of PAGA Waiver Case… Again

In a move that will undoubtedly frustrate California employers, the United States Supreme Court has denied review of Bridgestone Retail Operations v. Milton Brown, a California Supreme Court case which held that Private...more

Supreme Court Update: Omnicare, Inc. V. Laborers Industry Pension Fund (13-435), B&B Hardware V. Hargis Industries (13-352) And...

The Court began its March sitting this week (just in time for April), and issued decisions and two new cert grants. In this Update, we'll discuss Omnicare, Inc. v. Laborers Industry Pension Fund (13-435), on issuer liability...more

Supreme Court To Decide California Arbitration Issue

On March 23, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in DirecTV, Inc. v. Imburgia, agreeing to resolve a split between the Ninth Circuit and California state courts on how to interpret the same DirecTV arbitration...more

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