Federal Arbitration Act Arbitration Agreements

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

Ninth Circuit Invalidates Arbitration Agreement with Class Action Waiver

On August 22, 2016, the Ninth Circuit joined the Seventh Circuit in the split amongst U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal on the issue of enforceability of employment arbitration agreements precluding class actions. The Ninth...more

Ninth Circuit, California Appellate Court Take Aim at Arbitration Agreements

The Ninth Circuit and the California Court of Appeal have each issued decisions that may fundamentally affect how employers deal with arbitration agreements in the future. In Morris v. Ernst & Young, the Ninth Circuit held...more

Ninth Circuit Sides with NLRB in Divide over Employee Arbitration Waiver Agreements

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit announced this week that it agrees with the National Labor Relations Board that individual arbitration waiver agreements, which prevent employees from filing or participating in...more

Five Arbitration Cases You Should Know (Blogiversary Listicle #3)

I am celebrating five years of blogging by publishing one “listicle” per day this week. Monday, the topic was the five biggest surprises in arbitration law; Tuesday it was the five states most hostile to arbitration. (None...more

Reining In Individual Arbitration – Ninth Circuit Rules Class Waivers Unenforceable

In a 2-1 ruling, the Ninth Circuit became the second federal court of appeals to agree with the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) position that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) prohibits class action waivers in...more

And Now There Are Two: The Ninth Circuit Strikes Class Arbitration Waivers Joining the Seventh Circuit on Finding that these...

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Ninth Circuit joined the Seventh Circuit and the NLRB in finding that mandatory arbitration agreements that require all claims to be brought by employees on an individual basis violate the NLRA. On...more

Five States Most Hostile To Arbitration (Blogiversary Listicle #2)

I am celebrating five years of blogging by publishing one “listicle” per day this week.  Yesterday, the topic was the five biggest surprises in arbitration law.  Today, it is the five states where I would not want to argue in...more

Ninth Circuit Finds Arbitration Agreement That Required Employees to Bring Claims in “Separate Proceedings” Illegal Under the NLRA

On August 22, 2016, in Morris et al. v. Ernst & Young, LLP, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit followed the lead of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) and the U.S Court of Appeals for the...more

Ninth Circuit Invalidates Class Waiver in Arbitration Agreement

In a ruling that widens the divide between federal appellate courts, the Ninth Circuit sided today with the Seventh Circuit and the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) in holding that the class action waiver provision of...more

California Supreme Court Holds “No Universal Rule” Exists When Deciding Who Should Determine Availability of Classwide Arbitration

On July 28, 2016, the California Supreme Court added to the ever-changing body of case law regarding classwide arbitration when it held that “no universal rule” exists regarding who (the court or the arbitrator) should decide...more

Arbitration Provisions – Class Action Claims

Sandquist v. Lebo Automotive, Inc. - Supreme Court of California (July 28, 2016) - Does the court or the arbitrator decide whether the parties to an arbitration agreement intended class arbitration where the...more

California Supreme Court Holds That Arbitrator, Not Court, May Determine If Arbitration Agreement Permits Class Arbitration

The California Supreme Court has held that an arbitrator, rather than a court, has the power to decide whether class claims can proceed in arbitration, where the parties’ arbitration agreement is ambiguous on the question....more

What’s in a Name?: Defining Arbitration Across the Circuits

What is “arbitration”? Although courts often use and apply the word, rarely do they stop to define it. While the FAA concerns agreements to “settle by arbitration a controversy,” the FAA does not define “arbitration,”...more

Absent Express Contract, Arbitrator, Not Court, Rules On Class Arbitrability

Seyfarth Synopsis: The California Supreme Court, in Sandquist v. Lebo Automotive, deviated from rulings of most federal circuit courts to hold that the question of “who decides” whether class arbitration is available—courts...more

Fifth Circuit Rejects Misbehavior Challenge To Arbitration Award

Foundation Surgery Affiliate of Southwest Houston, LLC (“Southwest”), the owner of a surgical and imaging facility in Houston, entered into a purchase and sale agreement in 2008 with Rainier Capital Acquisitions, LP, which...more

California Supreme Court Holds that Whether Arbitration Will Proceed on Class Basis is an Issue for Arbitrator, not Court

California’s back-and-forth on arbitrations and class actions continued again this week. In a key 4-3 decision the California Supreme Court held that the arbitrator—not the court—can decide whether an arbitration...more

Plaintiff Who Could Not Afford to Pay for Arbitration Was Allowed to Pursue Her Malpractice Action in Court

Tillman adv. Rheingold Firm, No. 13-56624, 2016 BL 190432 (9th Cir. June 15, 2016) - Brief Summary - A former client who had agreed to arbitrate disputes with her lawyers, but ultimately could not afford to pay the...more

Three Blockbuster Summer Arbitration Decisions

While regular people count down the days to summer blockbusters that come in the form of high-paid actors fighting aliens or robots, I prefer my summer blockbusters in the form of arbitration opinions that have been months in...more

Seventh Circuit Finds Class Action Waiver Unenforceable in Arbitration Agreements, Creates Split among Circuits

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently dealt a blow to employers when it held in Jacob Lewis v. Epic Systems Corporation that arbitration agreements that prohibit employees from seeking class, collective or...more

Seventh Circuit Finds Class Action Waivers Unlawful

On May 26, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Lewis v. Epic Systems Corporation, held that when an employer conditions continued employment upon the signing of a class or collective action waiver in an...more

Ban Proposed on Mandatory Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreements by Schools Receiving Title IV Aid for Student Borrowers

The U.S. Department of Education has issued a proposed rule that includes a ban on mandatory pre-dispute arbitration agreements by schools receiving Title IV assistance under the Higher Education Act (HEA) and a new federal...more

Appellate Court Split Sets Stage for Supreme Court to Determine Use of Class Action Waivers in Employment Arbitration Agreements

As previously reported in EmployNews, the National Labor Relations Board has issued numerous recent decisions finding that employers’ use of class and collective action waiver provisions in mandatory arbitration agreements...more

Circuit Courts Weigh Employee Arbitration Waiver Agreements with Divergent Results

Conflicting decisions issued within one week of each other from the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Seventh and Eighth Circuits exemplify the ongoing debate in circuit courts across the country about the enforceability of...more

Appellate Courts Set the Supreme Court Stage for Waiver Showdown?

Many of our readers are no strangers to the ongoing legal battle over the enforcement of arbitration agreements containing class action waivers. While the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has steadfastly maintained its...more

Seventh Circuit Holds That Mandatory Arbitration With Class Waiver Violates NLRA, Setting up Circuit Split

On May 26, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that a wage-and-hour class arbitration clause violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), setting up a circuit split with the Fifth Circuit, and opening...more

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