Federal Arbitration Act Supreme Court of the United States Preemption

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

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

CFPB Announces Intent to Commence Arbitration Rulemaking

On October 7, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it is considering two rulemaking proposals that would severely limit the use of pre-dispute arbitration clauses in consumer financial service...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

Governor Brown Vetoes Blanket Ban on Arbitration Agreements, But Signals Potential Support of More Tailored Legislation

Governor Brown got it right when he vetoed Assembly Bill 465, which would have restricted the enforcement of arbitration agreements requiring the arbitration of claims brought against employers for violations under the...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

Justices Take On Another California Rule – When an Arbitration Agreement Is Too Flawed to Enforce

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review whether the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempts a California state court rule on unconscionable provisions that is purportedly applied more stringently to arbitration agreements...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

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

The Changing Face of Employment Arbitration Agreements in California

Arbitration. A simple word, but one that, in the context of employment agreements, was typically a “dirty” word in the eyes of California courts. Indeed, for many years, state courts could be seen as openly hostile to...more

Did You Know…PAGA Waivers Unenforceable in California Courts

The United States Supreme Court recently declined to review the California Supreme Court’s decision in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC. In Iskanian, the California Supreme Court held that the Federal...more

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Challenge to California Decision that PAGA Claims Cannot be Waived in Arbitration Agreements

The U.S. Supreme Court recently denied a petition for certiorari that challenged a California Supreme Court decision carving out an exception to the federal high court’s recent holdings in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion and...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

PAGA Representative Claims Remain Alive After SCOTUS Denies Iskanian Review

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States declined review of a state supreme court case that has sparked widespread flux in the landscape of class action arbitration waivers in California. In Iskanian v. CLS...more

Clean-Up in Aisle 9: Ninth Circuit Finds Ralphs Grocery Company’s Arbitration Policy Unconscionable Under State Law Not Preempted...

As we have reported on several occasions, a string of United States Supreme Court cases over the past few years has strengthened the use and applicability of arbitration provisions in contracts. For example, in AT&T Mobility...more

Did You Know…The Continuing Saga Of Arbitration Agreements & Unconscionability

In light of the United States Supreme Court decision in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, the California Supreme Court recently reversed its own prior decision where it had held that an arbitration agreement that requires an...more

Arbitration Wars: The California Supreme Court Strikes Back In Sonic II

On October 17, 2013, the California Supreme Court revisited the enforceability of arbitration agreements in California. The Court released its decision Sonic-Calabasas Inc. v. Moreno (Sonic II). In that 5 – 2 ruling, the...more

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