There are only four ways to avoid an arbitration agreement. You can prove: 1) it was never formed; 2) it was formed, but is invalid under state law; 3) the current dispute is outside the scope of it; or 4) the other party waived their right to arbitrate (through litigation conduct). Today’s post is about
Un-Vacated: Arbitration Awards Get Whiplash
Two cases recently fit in one of my favorite categories: those awards that get “un-vacated.” These cases went through arbitration, had that arbitration award vacated by a district court, only to have the award later resurrected by an appellate court. In today’s edition, the whiplash happens in both state and federal court.
In Caffey v.
Expert's Trick (changed damage calculation) Does Not Entitle Arbitration Loser to a Treat (a/k/a vacatur)
The Fifth Circuit recently refused to vacate an arbitration award, despite the loser’s arguments that: the arbitrators decided claims outside the scope of the arbitration agreement; and the winner’s expert used incorrect damage numbers in his testimony. Morgan Keegan & Co., Inc. v. Garrett, 2012 WL 5209985 (5th Cir. Oct. 23, 2012).
At issue in…
Eighth Circuit Rules Investors Are Not "Customer" Of Managing Broker-Dealer Under FINRA, So Arbitration Not Required
In an opinion that runs less than three pages, the Eighth Circuit ruled that a managing broker-dealer is not obligated under the FINRA rules to arbitrate with a group of investors who purchased securities from another party. Berthel Fisher & Co. Fin. Servs., Inc. v. Larmon, __ F.3d. __, 2012 WL 4477433 (8th…
More Administrative Agency Actions on Arbitration
A few months ago I posted about actions that FINRA and the NLRB were taking in support of allowing class arbitration, and those agencies have recently taken additional actions that help consumers or employees with relatively low dollar claims.
The NLRB brought a complaint against 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc. The complaint alleges that 24…
Rule-Making Comes To The Rescue of Class Arbitration
A reasonable person may have thought that the Supreme Court effectively killed off class arbitrations with its decisions in Stolt-Nielsen and Concepcion, but at least two government agencies have recently made decisions that ensure financial consumers and employees can bring classwide claims in some arbitrations.
FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, regulates all securities…
Second Circuit Finds Courts Have Power To Enjoin Arbitration In Limited Circumstances
The Second Circuit just held that a federal court has the power to enjoin an ongoing arbitration. In re Am. Express Fin. Advisors Sec. Litig., ___ F.3d ___, 2011 WL 5222784 (2nd Cir. 2011). While many litigants would no doubt like a federal court to enjoin their arbitrations — especially when arbitrators refuse to…