Supreme Court of the United States Arbitration Agreements

The United States Supreme Court is the highest court of the United States and is charged with interpreting federal law, including the United States Constitution. The Court's docket is largely discretionary... more +
The United States Supreme Court is the highest court of the United States and is charged with interpreting federal law, including the United States Constitution. The Court's docket is largely discretionary with only a limited number of cases granted review each term.  The Court is comprised of one chief justice and eight associate justices, who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate to hold lifetime positions. less -
News & Analysis as of

Another California Court Does Backflips To Thwart Arbitration And Elevate The Class-Action Device

The hostility of some California courts to arbitration—and their resistance to preemption under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA)—has produced nearly three decades of U.S. Supreme Court reversals. The most recent is AT&T...more

Supreme Court clarifies competence-competence principle

In a highly anticipated decision, the US Supreme Court recently confirmed a $185 million award against Argentina in BG Group Plc v Republic of Argentina. The BG Group decision is significant for international arbitration...more

Supreme Court: Arbitrators, Not Courts, Decide Whether A Suit May Proceed To Arbitration

On March 5, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an arbitration panel’s award and broadened arbitrators’ authority to determine preliminary issues in arbitration agreements. Although the case concerned a treaty dispute between...more

Reading The Halliburton Argument’s Tea Leaves

Does today’s oral argument before the Supreme Court in the Halliburton case provide any clues regarding the Court’s likely decision? (For background regarding the case, see yesterday’s post.)...more

California's Gentry Rule Under Challenge

Executive Summary: The U.S. Supreme Court has vacated the decision of a California state court, which held that a trial court should apply the factors set out in the California Supreme Court's 2007 decision in Gentry v....more

Employment Flash - February 2014

In This Issue: - US Supreme Court Rules on Donning and Doffing Issue - NLRB Judge Invalidates Arbitration Agreement Without Class Action Waiver - Second Circuit Rules on Single Employer Liability Under the WARN...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 Rejects State Law Challenge to FAA Primacy

In the aftermath of AT&T Mobility, LLC v. Concepcion and American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant, consumer lawyers have frequently argued that arbitration agreements should be invalidated if features other than the...more

Which Arbitration Agreement Clauses Will Texas Courts Find Unconscionable?

In recent years, courts have consistently supported employers’ use of arbitration agreements in employment settings. During the last few terms, the Supreme Court of the United States has issued several decisions, such as...more

Back to the Future: The CFPB’s Arbitration Report Could Signal a Return to the Days Before Concepcion

The “preliminary” report on consumer arbitration issued late last year by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau appears to be another marker along the road leading to the end of alternative dispute resolution as a primary...more

Labor & Employment E-Note - December 12, 2013

In This Issue: - High Court Gives NLRB Time to Challenge Recess Appointments - High Court Hears Case on Union, Employer "Neutrality Agreements" - Appeals Court Overturns NLRB Arbitration Agreements Decision -...more

Fifth Circuit Permits Class Action Waivers In Arbitration Agreements

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently handed a victory to employers in D.R. Horton, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, 12-60031, 2013 W.L. 6231617 (5th Cir. Dec. 3, 2013), reversing an Order of the National Labor...more

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Decision another Victory For Employers Seeking to Avoid Class Actions

Just last week Mintz Levin presented a webinar on how employers can use arbitration agreements as a tool to avoid exposure to wage and hour and other class actions. The thesis of the webinar was that recent Supreme Court and...more

Employee Arbitration Agreements in California: Employers, Don’t Put Your Thumb on the Scale

Recent decisions by the California Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the California Court of Appeal demonstrate that California courts will scrutinize and find unconscionable employee arbitration...more

Sixth Circuit Is First To Find Availability Of Class Arbitration Is Gateway Issue To Be Decided By Courts

Just four months ago, SCOTUS suggested (but did not hold) that the decision to allow class arbitrations might be a “gateway” issue of arbitrability that defaults to courts. This week, the Sixth Circuit was the first to take...more

Employment Flash - November 2013

In This Issue: - OFCCP Releases VEVRAA and Rehabilitation Act Section 503 Final Rules - US Supreme Court to Decide Whether Severance Payments Are Subject to FICA - SDNY Rules That NYC Human Rights Law Does Not...more

California State and Federal Courts Renew Their Attacks On Arbitration Agreements

In 1991, Sega introduced the video character Sonic the Hedgehog. Sonic became insanely popular, spawning several generations of videogames that are still being designed and sold today, comic books, and even a short-lived...more

The California Supreme Court Curtails Concepcion’s Protection of Arbitration Agreements

In AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, the United States Supreme Court analyzed whether a court could refuse to enforce an arbitration agreement because the terms are “unconscionable,” meaning that one party did not have meaningful...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

Sonic-Calabasas II: A New Wrinkle In Arbitration Law In California

The California Supreme Court’s decision in Sonic Calabassas A, Inc. v. Moreno has the potential to eliminate a powerful tool used by employers to avoid administrative hearings before the California Department of Labor,...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

California Supreme Court Clarifies Application Of Supreme Court Arbitration Holdings On State Law

On October 17, the Supreme Court of California held that, while the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempts a California state-law rule categorically prohibiting waiver of state pre-arbitration protections in arbitration...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

California Confirms Preemption by FAA Over State Rule Barring Employee Waiver - Mostly

In Sonic-Calabasas A, Inc. v. Moreno (Sonic II), the California Supreme Court addressed an employee’s waiver of access to an administrative hearing, in this case a Berman hearing, in an arbitration agreement imposed as a...more

The California Supreme Court Tackles The U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision in Concepcion – Still Finds Wiggle Room For California...

The enforceability of employment-related arbitration agreements has been a hot-button issue these past couple of years. The latest fight, federal vs. California law, has just played out in the California Supreme Court’s very...more

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