News & Analysis as of

AL Supreme Court

Due Process Strikes Back: Alabama Supreme Court Vacates $124M Class Settlement Attorneys’ Fee Award

The Alabama Supreme Court recently vacated a substantial $124 million attorneys’ fee award in connection with a class action settlement (Lawler v. Johnson et al., No. 1151347, — So. 3d –, 2017 WL 4707517 (Ala. Oct. 20,...more

Non-Signatories Succeed In Compelling Arbitration In State Courts

The high courts of two states have allowed non-signatories to compel arbitration in recent weeks. The cases show courts are addressing non-signatory issues using different standards and raise important drafting issues for...more

In Alabama: Lenders Must Strictly Comply with Notice Requirements

The Alabama Supreme Court recently released an opinion interpreting the pre-foreclosure notice requirements contained in paragraph 22 of the standard mortgage form. In short, strict compliance is required. The Court in Ex...more

Lessons From Two Auto Dealer Arbitrations About Nonsignatories

In two recent decisions, the Alabama Supreme Court made clear that if an arbitration clause specifies it only applies to disputes between the two parties who sign the clause, that will be strictly enforced. No third party...more

Alabama Supreme Court Confirms that Mutual Consent Is Not Required to Enforce an Arbitration Clause

Mandatory arbitration clauses have become commonplace in construction contracts. Various groups have formulated generic arbitration language to insert into disputes clauses of contracts. A good example of such language comes...more

‘Jefferson County, Alabama v. Taxpayers' And Retroactivity: It's Bad, Unless It's Good

In recent years, much attention has been paid to state legislatures across the country that attempt to alter their existing tax structures by enacting legislation that not only changes how businesses are taxed prospectively,...more

SCOTUS Hearing Arbitration Case Wednesday; Spotlight On State Cases

While the Supreme Court has put off hearing a more contentious arbitration case until the fall (presumably in hopes that it will have nine justices by then), tomorrow it will hear the nursing home arbitration case from...more

Two States Buck FAA Preemption, While Alabama Stays the Course

Three state supreme courts tackled arbitration law in recent weeks: Alabama, North Carolina, and Rhode Island. Rhode Island reversed a construction arbitration award because it disagreed with the arbitrator’s analysis. ...more

Kardashians Kept Out of Arbitration (and other recent arbitration news)

Just three weeks into the year and already my pile of arbitration cases is a skyscraper! So, I will cover a lot of ground in this update. First, the headline. Kimberly, Kourtney, and Khloe Kardashian moved to compel...more

Can Civil Litigation Be Prompt, Efficient, and Cost-Effective? Maybe in Alabama

by Butler Snow LLP on

In September of this year, Alabama joined the more than 25 other states with a procedure for the expedited handling of certain civil actions. The Alabama Rules for Expedited Civil Actions were created pursuant to Alabama Code...more

Petition for Writ of Certiorari Denied by Alabama Supreme Court in Key Sales Tax Case

Last Friday the Alabama Supreme Court denied the ADOR’s petition for writ of certiorari in the case of State Dep’t of Revenue v. Omni Studio, L.L.C. The denial by the Supreme Court follows a pro-taxpayer ruling in the Alabama...more

Jefferson County Sales Tax Ruling Appealed, Constitutional Amendment on November Ballot

A decision affecting Jefferson County’s one-cent sales tax increase to pay for a bond refinancing has been appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court, but the ramifications of the circuit court ruling have proved to be much...more

Alabama Puts The Mystery Back Into All-Risk Coverage

by Carlton Fields on

Insuring property against loss creates an unavoidable moral hazard: policyholders often have an incentive to cause or allow their property to disappear. Early efforts to limit insurers’ exposure to that risk—such as requiring...more

The Camel’s Nose: Incorporating Commercial and Construction Arbitration Rules

There is an old proverb that states, “If the camel once gets his nose in the tent, his body will soon follow.” Stated differently, one should not let the camel’s nose inside unless he or she is prepared to accept the whole...more

Montana Finds Arbitration Agreement Unconscionable For Lack of Mutuality

March comes in like a lion, right?  Well, that’s not true with respect to the weather here in Minneapolis.  But it may be true with respect to arbitration decisions from around the country.  This post focuses on two recent...more

Alabama Supreme Court Rejects Motion to Compel Arbitration Because Account Holder Did Not Click on Link to Arbitration Provision

by Balch & Bingham LLP on

Following the Alabama Supreme Court’s decision last Friday in Moore-Dennis v. Franklin, Nos. 1131142, 1131176, Alabama lenders should immediately review their account agreements to ensure any amendments to those agreements...more

Federalism “On Fleek” or Fifty Separate Fiefdoms? State Chief Justice Says Obergefell Is Not the Law in Alabama

by Butler Snow LLP on

A recent, public clash between the highest legal authorities of the United States and one of its constituent states, Alabama, illustrates the promise and the problems of this country’s unique system of dual sovereigns, known...more

Three Appellate Courts Remand for Trial on Existence of Agreement to Arbitrate

Most questions of arbitrability can be resolved on motion, using a summary judgment-like standard. However, just like summary judgment, if there are genuine disputes of material fact about whether a claim must be arbitrated...more

Alabama Acknowledges AAA Rules Authorize Arbitrator To Determine Whether Non-Signatory Is Bound

The Alabama Supreme Court has followed the Eighth Circuit’s lead, concluding that when the parties agree to arbitrate pursuant to the AAA Rules, they have clearly and unmistakably authorized the arbitrator to determine who is...more

Alabama Supreme Court Follows Line of Recent Federal Court Decisions Holding That Alabama Law Does Not Recognize a Cause Of Action...

by Balch & Bingham LLP on

As Chief Judge Steele in the Southern District of Alabama recently put it, “a veritable avalanche” of recent federal cases has found that Alabama law does not recognize a cause of action for negligence or wantonness in the...more

The Alabama Supreme Court Reverses Course on the Broad Use of Prepetition Discovery

by Butler Snow LLP on

Although this Alabama Supreme Court opinion was released in February of this year, my recent dealings on the topic have prompted me to highlight how the Alabama Supreme Court has reigned in the liberal use of prepetition...more

Same Arbitration Story, Different Jurisdiction: NAF, NLRB, and Nursing Homes

Some arbitration topics just never die. This post strings together new cases on three of those topics: 1) whether arbitration agreements that call for the now-defunct National Arbitration Forum (NAF) are enforceable; 2)...more

Reach of Contractual Jury Trial Waivers Narrowed By Alabama Supreme Court

by Balch & Bingham LLP on

In Ex Parte Acosta, No. 1140200, — So. 3d —, No. 1140200, 2015 WL 3537476 (Ala. June 5, 2015), the Alabama Supreme Court refused to incorporate a jury trial waiver from a collateral loan document into a Promissory Note. ...more

Filing Claim In Court Is Not Enough To Waive Arbitration Right

The issue in analyzing whether a party waived its right to arbitrate is usually whether the defendant waited too long to assert the arbitration obligation.  But, this week the Second Circuit had the opportunity to address...more

Alabama Passes New (and More Restrictive) Non-Compete Statute

by Baker Donelson on

Effective January 1, 2016, Alabama has passed a new non-compete and non-solicitation statute, repealing Section 8-1-1 of the Alabama Code ("the New Act"). The New Act begins with the same general statement as the prior...more

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