Federal Arbitration Act

The Federal Arbitration Act is a United States federal statute enacted in 1925 that governs arbitration in contracts implicating interstate commerce. The Act applies in both federal and state courts. 
News & Analysis as of

Eighth Circuit Upholds Arbitration Agreement In Absence Of Actual Proof Of Unconscionability Due To Cost

The Eighth Circuit affirmed a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri which rejected the contention that an arbitration agreement was unconscionable, and unenforceable under the 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

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

Enforcing Arbitration Agreements: The Choice of Procedural Law

The Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) applies generally to most arbitration agreements, but parties can choose to have the procedural law of the place of arbitration apply instead. On many issues, there is no material difference...more

Court Dismisses Challenge Of FINRA Arbitration Award For Lack Of Jurisdiction

In a case involving a FINRA arbitration between investors and their financial advisor, Judge Anita S. Brody of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania found that she did not have the...more

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

CFPB Report Likely Precursor to Regulatory Limits on Mandatory Arbitration Provisions

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a study in March 2015 criticizing the use of mandatory, pre-dispute arbitration agreements in financial contracts with consumers. As expected, the CFPB found...more

Administrative Closing Of Employment Discrimination Case Subject To Arbitration Agreement Bars Appellate Review

In Walker v. TA Operating, LLC et. al., Case No. 14-41046 (5th Cir. May 22, 2015), the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed an appeal of an employment discrimination case subject to an arbitration agreement due to lack of...more

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

Alabama Supreme Court Reverses Arbitration Award Where Arbiter Failed To Make Required Disclosures

In a case involving a dispute between a not-for-profit corporation administering a self-insured group workers’ compensation fund and their investment advisor and broker-dealer, the Supreme Court of Alabama granted the fund’s...more

Financial Services Report, Summer 2015

In This Issue: - Arbitration Report - Beltway Report - Bureau Report - Mobile & Emerging Payments Report - Mortgage & Fair Lending Report - Operations Report - Preemption Report -...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

Obligation to Enforce Arbitration under FAA Policy Trumps Motion to Prevent Enforcement of “Clearly Void” Non-Competition...

On May 20, 2015, Judge Dudley H. Bowen of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, entered an order denying the Motion for Preliminary and Permanent Injunction filed by one of the plaintiffs...more

Seventh Circuit Rejects Challenge To Arbitration Award Based On “Manifest Disregard Of The Law” And Fraud

This case involved a FINRA arbitration held to resolve a dispute over money allegedly owed to Ameriprise Financial Services by a former financial adviser. The financial adviser appealed the district court’s confirmation of...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

Second Circuit Partially Reverses District Court Preliminary Injunction Order In Aid Of Arbitration

Defendant-appellant Benihana of Tokyo, LLC appealed a 2014 order of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granting the application of plaintiff-appellee Benihana, Inc. for a preliminary...more

Ninth Circuit Again Clarifies that Arbitration Is Creature of Contract: Employee's Agreement to Abide by Company Manual Is...

The court’s opinion instructs that employee agreements to arbitrate may be obtained through written acknowledgments referencing company manuals. Arbitration remains a preferred forum for many employers, yet courts are...more

New York Court Reaffirms That Reinsurer’s Statute Of Limitations Defense Determined By Arbitrators, Not Court

Because a reinsurer participated in the arbitrator selection process, the reinsurer was precluded from seeking a stay on statute of limitations grounds pursuant to New York law, a New York appellate court ruled. As discussed...more

Reinsurers’ Motion To Vacate Arbitration Award Held Time-Barred

A federal judge in New York has denied reinsurers’ motions for relief from a prior judgment. The reinsurers, Equitas Insurance Limited and Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s of London, argued that they were entitled to judicial...more

U.S. Supreme Court To Hear Appeal On Enforceability Of Arbitration Agreements In California

The United States Supreme Court has granted DIRECTV’s petition for Writ of Certiorari and will hear the following question presented: Whether the California Court of Appeal erred by holding, in direct conflict with the Ninth...more

Legislation Proposed to Ban Mandatory Arbitration Clauses

On April 29, 2015, Senator Al Franken (D-MN) and Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA) introduced the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2015 (AFA), which would amend the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. §§ 1 et seq. (FAA), by...more

Incorporation Of AAA Rules “Clearly And Unmistakably” Delegates Questions Of Arbitrability To Arbitrator

In a putative class action for denial of employment benefits brought by security contractors against their hiring firm, Blackwater Security Consulting, the court found that the governing agreements delegated the issue of...more

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

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

The California Supreme Court - What to Expect in 2015

On Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at 11 a.m. PDT/2 p.m. EDT, Sedgwick attorneys Kirk Jenkins (Chicago), Hall Marston (Los Angeles) and Michael Walsh (Los Angeles) presented a webinar titled “The California Supreme Court: What to...more

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