Four weeks ago, the boundary between public enforcement and private dispute resolution became more blurred.  On September 4, the Justice Department announced that it had agreed to binding arbitration on the key issue in a current merger case—the market definition.

The enforcement action is garden variety.  It challenges Novelis Inc.’s proposed acquisition of Aleris Corporation. 

The Fifth Circuit just deepened (and confused) a Circuit split over the question of who decides whether an arbitration agreement permits class proceedings.  See 20/20 Communications, Incorporated v. Crawford, 2019 WL 3281412 (5th Cir. July 22, 2019).

Liz has written about the split herehere, and here.  (You might also recall

So, remember when we talked about Just How Small the Bullseye Is for Challenging a Delegation Clause a few weeks ago?  Apparently, the target is small but not necessarily as unhittable as I suggested.

You might recall that in that earlier post we were looking at a Missouri Supreme Court decision, State Ex Rel. Newberry

Liz has written before about the ways that state courts sometimes try to resist SCOTUS’s love affair with arbitration.  Resistance can come in many and varying forms, some more subtle than others.

One persistent source of confusion in arbitration law, and thus a locus for resistance, centers on delegation clauses. As a quick refresher, in

One of the most confounding doctrines in federal arbitration jurisprudence is the severability doctrine.  The U.S. Supreme Court has held, since Prima Paint in 1967, that courts must enforce arbitration clauses within contracts, even if the entire contract is invalid or unenforceable.  (Most non-arbitration geeks don’t believe me when I tell them that’s the law.)