News & Analysis as of

Business Litigation Reporter -- October 2014

California - Browsewrap Arbitration Agreement Not Enforced Against Individual Consumer. In Nguyen v. Barnes & Noble Inc., 2014 WL 4056549 (9th Cir. Aug. 18, 2014), the Ninth Circuit affirmed the denial of B&N’s motion...more

Under FAA, Chicago Court Refuses To Determine Whether Claims Should Be Part Of Pending New York Arbitration

A dispute involving competing actions between two competing aeroponic farming companies, FarmedHere, LLC and Just Greens, LLC (doing business as Aero Farm Systems), was simultaneously at issue in a New York arbitration, a New...more

In New Jersey, arbitration clauses in consumer contracts are unenforceable when the parties to the contracts do not explicitly...

The Supreme Court for the State of New Jersey held that the failure to include specific trial by jury waiver language in arbitration clauses renders them unenforceable in consumer contracts, notwithstanding the fact that said...more

New Jersey Court Casts Doubt on Enforceability of Consumer Arbitration Agreements That Lack “Magic Words”

The New Jersey Supreme Court has cast doubt on the enforceability of arbitration clauses in consumer agreements that lack clear language specifying that consumers have waived their rights to litigate claims in a court....more

EEOC Ramps Up Attack On Mandatory Arbitration Agreements

Over the course of its history, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has disfavored the application of mandatory arbitration agreements within the employment context. Indeed, until the decision in...more

Federal Law Governing Foreign Risk Retention Groups Preempts State Law That Prohibits Mandatory Arbitration Clauses In Insurance...

The Nebraska Supreme Court has held that Nebraska’s statute prohibiting mandatory arbitration clauses in insurance policies is preempted by the Liability Risk Retention Act of 1986 (LRRA). At issue was a professional...more

EEOC Sues Doherty Enterprises over Mandatory Arbitration Agreement

Restaurant Franchiser Unlawfully Barred New Hires From Filing Discrimination Charges, Federal Agency Charges - MIAMI - Doherty Enterprises, Inc., a regional company that owns and operates over 140 franchise...more

Third Circuit: Federal Court Should Decide Whether An Arbitration Clause Authorizes Classwide Arbitration – Not The Arbitrator

The Third Circuit recently was presented with the question of whether, in the context of an otherwise silent contract, the availability of classwide arbitration is to be decided by a court rather than an arbitrator. The...more

Missouri Supreme Court Redefines Adequate Consideration for Enforcing Arbitration Agreements

Continued at-will employment is no longer sufficient consideration to enforce arbitration provisions in Missouri. In Baker v. Bristol Care, a recent decision of the Missouri Supreme Court, a slim majority of the Court struck...more

Nitty Gritty Advice for Compelling Arbitration under the FAA

I regularly receive questions about compelling arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act. In particular, people ask : (1) Can I file a motion to compel before any other “complaint” is filed; (2) What should I call my...more

Employer Cannot Compel Former Employee to Arbitrate Claims After Failing to Follow Preliminary Steps of the Contractual...

The issue before the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District was whether KTLA, LLC, a Los Angeles based broadcaster, could compel a former employee, Kurt Knutsson, to arbitrate his claims against KTLA. (Knutsson v....more

Clicking “I Agree” Renders Mandatory Arbitration Provision Enforceable

Day in and day out, Internet users sign various forms of agreements for a variety of reasons, from joining a dating site, to participating in an online auction, to uploading media to a storage locker. These agreements,...more

International Arbitration Newsletter - June 2014

In This Issue: -The ABCs of Arbitrating Outside of the New York Convention - Leading International Arbitration Partner Joins Latham & Watkins in Paris - US Supreme Court Revives International Arbitration...more

First Things First: There Must Be An Arbitration Agreement In Order To Compel Arbitration

Two courts recently refused to compel arbitration because the defendants could not prove that the parties had entered into an arbitration agreement at all. Therefore, the musical accompaniment to this post is “Do Re Mi” from...more

Florida Litigation Update: Arbitration Clauses are Not Always Enforceable

In Basulto, et. al. v. Hialeah Automotive, etc., et. al., SC09-2358 (March 20, 2014), the Florida Supreme Court addressed the enforceability of an arbitration clause between a car dealership and purchasers. In the Basulto...more

Two Federal Circuits Find Health Insurance Claims Outside Scope Of Arbitration Clauses

Because courts apply a presumption of arbitrability when they analyze whether particular claims fall within the scope of an arbitration clause, and arbitration clauses are generally drafted very broadly, I don’t usually get...more

Court Construes Ambiguous Arbitration Clause Broadly And Compels Arbitration

The dispute involved a claim for benefits under a policy insuring a marine construction site damaged in 2008 by Hurricane Ike. The insured contended that the policy did not provide for arbitration, but instead provided only...more

General Mills dips a toe in forced arbitration for sweepstakes, contests

Last week, The New York Times reported that General Mills added language to its website notifying its customers that if they downloaded a coupon, joined the company’s online community on places like Facebook, or entered a...more

The Construction Advantage – Issue 3

Reaffirming the Iron Hand of an Arbitration Agreement - Does the fact that the named arbitration company has gone out of business make an arbitration clause unenforceable? Given the legislative bias toward arbitration,...more

Treaty Tips: The Service Of Suit Provision

One common provision in reinsurance agreements is a Service of Suit provision, which typically provides that the parties consent to the jurisdiction of “any court of competent jurisdiction.” The breadth of the traditional...more

Arbitration Clauses Survive Their Contracts 99% Of The Time

The Sixth Circuit recently answered a question I get asked regularly: does an arbitration clause survive the termination of the contract containing it? I usually say yes, and thankfully the Sixth Circuit backed me up....more

Is It Time To Include Mandatory Arbitration Clauses In All Reinsurance Policies? Mandatory Clauses Could Avoid Unnecessary Future...

Recent reports on the continued easing of collateral requirements for non-US reinsurers that operate in the US, raise the question: with the anticipated, increased presence of non-US reinsurers state-side, will more...more

Fifth Circuit Delivers Crippling Blow to Controversial NLRB Class Action Waiver Theory

Arbitration is generally supposed to be faster, cheaper, and more predictable than litigation. Homebuilder D.R. Horton, like many other employers, certainly believed this when, in 2006, it began requiring employees to sign...more

Tenth Circuit Holds FAA Preempts New Mexico Law On Unenforceability Of Unconscionable Arbitration Provisions

On January 28, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempts New Mexico common law that a compulsory-arbitration provision in a contract may be unconscionable and...more

D.R. Horton on Steroids: NLRB Invalidates Arbitration Agreement Without Class Waiver

As reported previously here, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”) in D.R. Horton, Inc., 357 NLRB No. 184 (2012), held that requiring employees to enter into an arbitration agreement containing a...more

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