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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can the CFPB Really Prohibit Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreements?

Section 1028 of the Dodd-Frank Act, entitled “Authority to Restrict Mandatory Pre-Dispute Arbitration,” gives the CFPB the authority to promulgate regulations imposing conditions, limitations, or outright prohibitions on...more

Managing Your Class-Action Risk Through Arbitration Agreements

More companies are now using arbitration agreements to manage class-action risk. Several recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions have made it possible for companies to use arbitration to resolve disputes while managing...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

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Dodd-Frank Study Scrutinizes Arbitration Agreements & Class Action Waivers

On Tuesday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) released its long-awaited “Arbitration Study: Report to Congress, pursuant to Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act § 1028(a)”, which presents...more

California Court Of Appeal Sides With Federal Arbitration Act Over State Law Unconscionability Rule

The California Court of Appeals recently held that the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) preempts California’s Broughton-Cruz rule, which states that arbitration agreements for injunctive relief under California’s unfair...more

UPDATE: SCOTUS Denies Petition For Cert In Iskanian

On June 24, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued a controversial decision in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC. While the Court in Iskanian confirmed that an express class action waiver in an employment...more

California’s “Third Party Litigation Exception” Not Preempted By The FAA

A California appellate court recently examined that state’s legislative response to the situation where a party moves to compel arbitration and some of the parties to the dispute are not parties to the arbitration agreement....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

The Widening California Divide: The Rejection of Iskanian by Federal District Courts and Potential Resolution

In an October 22, 2014, posting, we addressed the growing divide between California federal district courts and the California Supreme Court over whether an arbitration agreement can waive an employee’s right to pursue a...more

2014: The Year of Arbitrator Authority

A lot of interesting arbitration law was made this year, on topics from validity to vacatur, but the banner issue was arbitrator authority.  SCOTUS announced that theme for the year with its BG Group decision in March and...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

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

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