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Arbitration News
Arbitration News
April 2014

4/22
  • General Mills abandons mandatory arbitration after consumer outcry

    General Mills Inc., maker of Cheerios and other grocery staples, has reversed a recent change to its online legal policy after an outcry by consumers.  The policy had been quietly updated last week to include terms under which any dispute with the company would have to be decided through arbitration, a change first reported by the New York Times last week. Critics and legal experts said the new terms could cost consumers their right to sue in court if they merely "liked" General Mills' social media pages, downloaded coupons from its website or entered any company-sponsored contests. General Mills initially criticized the media reports on the policy, saying they had mischaracterized it. The company also defended arbitration as "a straightforward and efficient way to resolve such disputes — and many companies take the same approach. We even cover the cost of arbitration in most cases." But the coverage set off consumer outcry on social media, eventually leading to the abrupt reversal Saturday. read



4/17
  • State To Expand Court-Sponsored ADR Programs

    The Connecticut Judicial Branch has announced a host of initiatives to improve court-sponsored alternative dispute resolution in order to keep up with the demand to resolve civil cases short of trial.  New initiatives announced by Chief Justice Chase Rogers will include expanding the number of judges who are trained to serve as mediators, to begin later this year. There are currently 60 judge and judge trial referees available for the Judicial Branch's ADR program, but many are not available to serve for lengthy periods of time as mediatiors. Increasing the number of judges who are available to provide mediation services on more than a limited basis to help parties reach a settlement will fill vacancies created by several Superior Court judges who left the bench in recent years to start their own mediation practices in recent years, Rogers said.  Another new initiative is to have attorneys appointed to serve as mediators. Rogers said the attorneys could be hired by the branch on a case by case basis, similar to the current appointments of attorney trial referees. "For example, attorneys with particular expertise in construction law, commercial disputes or probate law could be an invaluable asset in resolving those kinds of cases, where a substantice expertise in a specialized area is essential to understanding the issues of the case," Rogers said. read



4/15
  • Finra gets arbitration process back on track in Puerto Rico

    Finra has expanded its pool of arbitrators and is ready to move forward with the hundreds of complaints related to collapses in Puerto Rico bond funds, according to an announcement posted on its web site Monday. After several months of deliberation, Finra said it will resume processing investor complaints now that it has about 700 arbitrators from Southeastern U.S. and Texas who are willing to fly to Puerto Rico. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. has also resolved issues related to the language barrier as UBS AG and Bank of America Merrill Lynch agreed to pay fees for translators. read



4/09
  • Emerging markets need to improve arbitration system

    Dubai: Emerging markets need to upgrade their legal infrastructure, particularly those related to arbitration rules and regulation, experts said at the second day of the Annual Investment Meeting 2014 in Dubai. Louis Wells, Professor of international management at the Harvard Business School, said that despite the remarkable growth emerging markets could achieve in attracting foreign investments, these countries should work harder to improve their arbitration system. Arbitration is a very important instrument for improving the overall investment environment in the emerging markets and governments should do better in this to facilitate and protect these investments, Wells said. read



March 2014

3/03
  • Why You Should Opt Out Of Forced Arbitration, In 3 Sentences

    While more and more companies are adding “forced arbitration” clauses to their terms of service, only a handful of these businesses are offering customers the choice to opt out of this part of the contract. Here are the reasons why you should take advantage of that option whenever possible. read



February 2014

2/20
  • Medical disputes pushed to arbitration

    A new regulation will require public medical institutions to inform patients that they have the option to settle their medical disputes through arbitration if the case involves a claim of more than 30,000 yuan ($4,938). The regulation, which goes into effect next month, is one of several new rules that aim to steer more aggrieved patients to the city's medical arbitration system, rather than letting their complaints pile up at local hospitals, said Li Heping, vice director of the Shanghai Medical Dispute People's Arbitration Office. "There have been a lot of unsolved disputes accumulating at public hospitals. We want to push more of them into medical arbitration by informing more families about the system," Li said. Patients in about 75 percent of medical dispute cases have demanded more than 30,000 yuan in compensation, Li said. The medical arbitration system began in 2006 as a pilot program in several districts, but it received few cases until it was instituted citywide in 2011. Last year, local medical arbitration offices dealt with 3,087 cases and resolved about 80 percent of them. read



2/18
  • Can we talk?

    Thinking of suing that firm that did you wrong as a customer or that vendor for poor quality merchandise? Try mediation or arbitration instead. The two methods are among remedies collectively known as alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Business owners who turn to ADR save time, money and maybe the business relationship that’s in question. “ADR is a cost containment mechanism. Cases move faster and that saves money,” says Bill Nolan, managing partner at Barnes & Thornburg. read



2/14
  • Regulator plans purge of Wall Street arbitrators

    Wall Street veterans would no longer be allowed to act as arbitrators in many legal disputes between investors and their brokerages under a proposal that a U.S. regulator will present to its board on Thursday, a person familiar with the matter said. The plan by the U.S. brokerage industry self-regulator, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), would mean that investors could opt to have their cases heard by a panel of three so-called public arbitrators who would not include people who had past industry ties. read



2/07
  • Mediation or Arbitration: What’s the Difference?

    When people disagree, they have choices on how to resolve their dispute. They can lawyer-up, file a lawsuit, and let a judge or jury decide who wins. They can also try to resolve the matter between themselves, they can engage in arbitration or they can go through mediation. Mediation is a relatively inexpensive and fast way to resolve disputes. It is a process conducted by a trained and experienced mediator, who may be a retired judge or a practicing or retired attorney. The parties, generally through their attorneys, prepare a mediation statement describing their statement of the dispute, prior settlement efforts, legal authorities of precedential value, and a description and interpretation of documentary support for their position. The statements are often exchanged prior to the mediation. Mediation is a confidential procedure. What is discussed during the mediation and any documents prepared specifically for the mediation remain confidential. If an agreement is reached, it is put into writing and that agreement is not confidential. It is normally embodied in a motion for approval of the settlement and presented to the court in which the case is pending. Sometimes there is no court proceeding, so the parties hold onto the agreement in case enforcement down the road is required. read



2/02
  • Apparel Industry Voices: Mediation or Arbitration: What’s The Difference?

    When people disagree, they have choices on how to resolve their dispute. They can lawyer-up, file a lawsuit, and let a judge or jury decide who wins. They can also try to resolve the matter between themselves, they can engage in arbitration or they can go through mediation. read



  • Arbitrator’s bill in porn-watching teacher case: $48,600

    That’s how much taxpayers in the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District paid for the services of Karen Mawhinney, the arbitrator who ordered the reinstatement of a seventh-grade science teacher fired for viewing multiple pornographic images and videos at school. The total bill was $48,600, split between the school district and the Middleton Education Association, the teachers union that represented Andrew Harris in what arbitration experts, including Mawhinney, described as an “extraordinary” process. read



January 2014

1/29
  • Clarifying Arbitration vs. Mediation vs. Litigation

    Question: What is the difference between arbitration and mediation?
    Arbitration is a method of finally determining a dispute. The end result is an award which is similar to a Court Order in that it is final and binding upon the parties and can be enforced against the parties in the same way as a judgment of the Court. In an arbitration, a neutral third party – the arbitrator – hears the evidence and makes a decision as to who is right and who is wrong. In a mediation, on the other hand, the neutral third party – the mediator – makes no such determination, but rather focuses on trying to assist the parties to come to a negotiated mutually satisfactory settlement or compromise of the matters in dispute. Sometimes, the mediator is successful, in which case, the dispute is over. Sometimes the mediator is not successful, in which case the dispute continues on. ... read



1/16
  • Ireland: Want To Arbitrate? Be Proactive

    Perhaps the most attractive feature of arbitration is its flexibility. Efficient and cost-effective arbitration is possible if the right questions are addressed up front. For example: Do we need discovery? Do we need to oblige the parties to seek to mediate before moving to arbitration? Do we need a reasoned award? The Irish Courts have repeatedly demonstrated a willingness to uphold arbitration clauses. Recent case law indicates that parties wishing to arbitrate must: (1) ensure that all relevant contracts clearly provide for arbitration, (2) avoid delay and (3) avail of the opportunity to engage fully in the process. read



  • Belgium Strengthens Position On International Arbitration Stage

    Belgium makes headway in its plans to become an attractive forum for domestic and international arbitration. The new Belgian Arbitration Act, based on the UNCITRAL Model Law, has entered into force and CEPANI, the Belgian arbitration institute, has issued new arbitration rules. With the new Belgian Arbitration Act's entry into force, Belgium joins 66 other countries that have arbitration legislation based on the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration. By modernising and aligning its Arbitration Act with international arbitration practice, Belgium hopes to establish itself as an attractive forum for international arbitration. read



  • Singapore: Becoming More Attractive For International Arbitration

    With the newly issued SIAC Arbitration Rules, Singapore further strengthens its position as a preferred venue for international arbitration in Asia. The newly issued Arbitration Rules of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) include a number of significant changes affecting the arbitration process. These changes are highlighted below. read



December 2013

12/26
  • Watch Al Franken Shred A Pro-Arbitration Professor For Trying To Gloss Over The Problem

    Earlier this week, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on mandatory binding arbitration clauses, those fun bits of contractual language that take away your right to sue a company and force you into a resolution process that is heavily weighted in the company’s favor. The hearing was chaired by Senator Al Franken of Minnesota, who earlier this year introduced the proposed Arbitration Fairness Act, and so he obviously has a thing or two to say on the topic. read



12/16
  • Mandatory Arbitration Provisions

    Question: We are in the process of revising our employment agreements and want to put in a mandatory arbitration provision for all employees who have discrimination and wrongful-termination claims. Can you give us some tips on what such a provision should and should not look like in order to make sure it will be enforceable? read



  • Forced Arbitration Is Terrible For Consumers And Right-Wing Media Love It

    A federal agency's new preliminary report debunks the popular right-wing myth that private contracts that require people to take their complaints to an arbitrator are an effective alternative to class-action lawsuits. Right-wing media outlets have consistently supported what are known as "forced-arbitration clauses" -- contractual provisions that often force consumers to give up their right to join a class action lawsuit and instead require them to go before an arbitrator individually, even if the amount in dispute is so small that it wouldn't make sense to pursue outside of a collective, mass action. But according to preliminary findings from a year-long study conducted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), forced arbitration clauses actually have the effect of denying consumers of financial products an important avenue for redress in contractual disputes. According to Alison Frankel at Reuters, "the evidence shows arbitration doesn't provide any recovery to the overwhelming majority of consumers of financial products."  read



12/08
  • Appeals Court Sides With Employers on Arbitration

    Employers can require their workers to sign arbitration agreements waiving all rights to class-action lawsuits over workplace grievances, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. The ruling from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturns a National Labor Relations Board decision last year that found such agreements conflicted with federal law giving workers the right to pursue collective action to complain about workplace conditions. The court's ruling is a win for businesses that want to limit legal exposure from the rising cost of class-action lawsuits over unpaid overtime and other wage violations. But it's a blow to workers who find it easier to band together when challenging the policies at a large company. read



  • Investor advocates push to see trove of arbitration records

    A long-running battle over whether the top U.S. securities regulator should release records about its supervision of Wall Street's arbitration process is about to go another round, this time with input from a vocal consumer advocate. For nearly four years, a group of lawyers has been pushing the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to release documents about its oversight over how the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority selects arbitrators who hear legal disputes between brokerages and investors. FINRA, the Wall Street industry-funded watchdog, runs the arbitration forum where investors and brokerages must resolve their legal disputes. The Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA), a lawyers' group pushing for the release, has now enlisted lawyers of its own. The litigation arm of Public Citizen, a consumer rights group in Washington, filed a brief on PIABA's behalf in a federal appeals court last week to overturn a U.S. district court's earlier decision to keep the records a secret. read



  • FINRA Arbitrators to Get Pay Raise

    Arbitrators in disputes between investors and brokers will get more pay for their work, the brokerage industry's self-regulator decided Thursday, people familiar with the matter said. Lawyers and arbitrators hope the pay rise, the first in 14 years, will attract more--and more skilled--arbitrators. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc., which oversees the arbitration process, approved an increase in compensation for hearing arbitrators. Finra's board agreed to raise pay by 50%, to $300 for half-day dispute hearings and $600 for full-day sessions, according to people familiar with the matter. The chairperson of an arbitration panel is to receive an extra $125, an increase of 67%, these people said. The pay increases are "long overdue," Philip Aidikoff of Aidikoff, Uhl & Bakhtiari, a Beverly Hills, Calif., law firm that represents mainly investors who seek compensation from brokers for investment losses. "It's an acknowledgment that the arbitrators, for the most part, do a very good job and take it very seriously." read



November 2013

11/18
  • Arbitration center for Israeli-Palestinian business disputes launches

    Jerusalem Arbitration Center aims to boost Israeli-Palestinian economic ties with agreed upon commercial dispute mechanism.  Until now, commercial disputes between Israelis and Palestinians were relegated to inefficient Oslo Accord-era mechanisms. Israeli businesses could not be sure that court decisions would be enforced in Palestinian areas, while Palestinians felt disadvantaged by Israeli law, especially when up against larger, more powerful businesses. With Palestinian courts generally hostile to Israelis, they made a poor alternative.  “There was no arrangement, and most of the deals were done in cash money,” said Shachor.  Because of the lacking legal mechanisms, businesses relied on cash on delivery and bank guarantees.  The new system will allow people to take their disputes to binding arbitration, and is expected to open the doors to other kinds of contracts, credit and business arrangements. read



11/17
  • ConstructionWeekOnline: The Peacekeepers

    Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is fast becoming a widely-accepted alternative to local court litigation. This is particularly true of arbitration. Oddly, mediation is still heavily underused, which begs the question whether there is room for wider subscription in the UAE? In cultures where contracts are not always regarded as rigorous terms of engagement but rather as a framework intended to govern a commercial relationship, mediation is particularly well-placed to serve the settlement of differences at arm’s length before they escalate. read



11/12 October 2013

10/28
  • Lagos Court of Arbitration (LCA) begins radio program ‘City Legal’

    In line with promoting awareness for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in Nigeria, the Lagos Court of Arbitration (LCA) has embarked on a radio programme, ‘City Legal’, which runs on Tuesdays by 10:00am and Thursdays by 05:30pm, on Smooth FM 98.1. The 15-minutes programme targeted as Large Corporations, Small and Medium Scale Business Owners, International Organisations, Consumers, among others, is created to enlighten and empower the public on ADR and the LCA’s role in bringing mediation and arbitration to the fore-front in dispute resolution. read



  • Pakistan: Mediation framework for investors stressed

    Institutional framework for mediation should be further strengthened in Pakistan through legislative action as is being done in many countries around the world. Local and foreign investors should also include mediation clause in contracts as it provides an efficient and low-cost mechanism for dispute resolution, said Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Engineer Sohail Lashari at the certificate distribution ceremony arranged by International Finance Corporation (IFC) here on Saturday. read



10/21
  • Appeals court rejects secret Delaware arbitration

    Ruling blocks private arbitrations overseen by sitting judge. A federal appeals court has upheld a ruling declaring that a Delaware law allowing chancery judges to oversee secret arbitration in high-stakes business disputes is unconstitutional. A three-judge panel of the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-to-1 Wednesday to uphold a federal judge's ruling in favor of the Delaware Coalition for Open Government, which challenged the law. DelCOG, backed by The Associated Press, The New York Times and several other major news organizations, claimed in its lawsuit that the secret arbitration conducted by Delaware's Chancery Court violated the First Amendment rights of citizens to attend judicial proceedings and access court records. Attorneys for the state argued that secret arbitration made the Chancery Court more efficient and generated revenue for Delaware, corporate home to thousands of companies. read



  • Moscow Ignores Arbitration Over Greenpeace Ship

    Russia says it will not participate in an international arbitration process over a Dutch-flagged Greenpeace ship, the "Arctic Sunrise," which was seized by Moscow along with the 30 people onboard. The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on October 23 that it will not take part in the arbitration because it had opted out of dispute settlements under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. read



  • Wyoming lawmakers consider arbitration for tow truck disputes

    Members of a state legislative committee are awaiting a draft bill that would establish an arbitration system for Wyomingites who think they got ripped off by tow truck companies.  After rejecting the bill capping tow rates, the committee ordered legislative staff to draft a bill that would provide customers the opportunity to mediate or arbitrate with a towing company, Landen said. It will be reviewed at the committee’s November meeting in Casper. Mullen, the tow company owner, is open to the idea. “That’s fine by me,” he said. “I justify everything I do. Arbitration will be fine if they keep that fair.” read



10/01 September 2013

9/30
  • The Netherlands updates its Arbitration Act

    In April 2013 the Dutch government published a bill for the 'modernisation of Netherlands arbitration law'. Among other things, the bill aims to ensure the continued appeal of the Netherlands Arbitration Act (1986) to international users. Some of the changes that are proposed in the bill are discussed. read



  • Innovative changes for Belgium’s arbitration rules

    This year Belgium has already seen significant reforms in its arbitration rules. These innovative changes include the adoption of a new Arbitration Act and the adoption of new Arbitration and Mediation Rules by the Belgian Centre of Arbitration and Mediation (CEPANI). read



  • Alex Rodriguez's Arbitration Hearing Set to Begin

    Alex Rodriguez gets to start arguing his case Monday. The Yankees slugger is appeal a 211-game suspension for his alleged involvement in the Biogenesis clinic. In a hearing room before arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, lawyers for the Yankees third baseman will argue why the 211-game suspension imposed by the MLB Aug. 5 should be overturned. read


9/26
  • NJ Appellate Division Says That Mediator Cannot Then Serve As Arbitrator

    From the court: "We conclude the positions of arbitrator and mediator are in conflict. An arbitrator must "maintain 'broad public confidence in the integrity and fairness of the [arbitration] process . . . If the same person acts as a mediator, obtains party confidences or offers opinions on the issues in dispute, a conflict arises were he or she to then switch roles to act as an arbitrator, making the final call. read



9/23
  • Rinehart Allowed Mediation After Arbitration Bid Rejected

    Gina Rinehart, after failing to persuade an Australian judge to have a family dispute over a multibillion-dollar trust resolved by an arbitrator, won her bid for a final mediation attempt. Supreme Court Justice Patricia Bergin in Sydney today dismissed Rinehart’s bid to stop the trial and refer the dispute to arbitration. Bergin granted Rinehart’s request for mediation, to be held before Sept. 26, and if the dispute isn’t resolved the judge scheduled a five-day trial to start Oct. 8, a week later than originally planned. read



9/16
  • Arbitration case launched against New Doha International Airport

    Lindner Depa Interiors (LDI) has filed a circa AED 900 million ($250 million) international arbitration claim against the New Doha International Airport (NDIA). Linder Depa is a joint venture company between Dubai-based interior contractor Depa Limited and Germany’s Lindner AG. The arbitration proceeding has been commenced in the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce, Paris, France.  read



  • Citigroup must pay couple $3.1 million for not overseeing broker: panel

    A Citigroup unit must pay $3.1 million to a Florida-based couple who alleged the firm did not properly supervise a broker who steered them to invest in a politician's real estate developments that later went broke, a securities arbitration panel has ruled. read



9/06
  • Increasing Enforceability Of Mandatory Arbitration Clauses In Wills And Trusts

    A hot issue percolating among the states is whether a clause in a will or trust requiring alternative dispute resolution — usually arbitration — should be enforced by the courts. While initially courts appeared to frown on such provisions, the trend has shifted recently, particularly with a ruling by the Texas Supreme Court upholding such a clause. read



  • Looming decision on arbitration helps settle concussion cases

    There’s much to digest about the $765 million settlement of the concussion lawsuits filed against the NFL, and plenty of questions to be answered. For now, the most important point is that the looming ruling on whether all or most of the claims would be steered toward the arbitration process helped the two sides come together and work out their own resolution. read



9/05
  • Schwab Case Casts Spotlight on Securities Arbitration and Its Flaws

    Class-action lawsuits are the bane of most financial firms, and many recoil at the prospect of paying out millions to groups of clients if investments go sour. Now, the discount brokerage firm Charles Schwab & Company finds itself at odds with regulators as it seeks to eliminate the option of such suits for its clients. read



August 2013

8/27
  • Growth in Global Disputes Brings Big Paychecks for Law Firms

    King & Spalding is handling arbitration in the legal feud between Chevron and Ecuador over environmental damage in the Amazon.
    Debt woes, broken contracts and soured business deals may cost global investors billions in losses and create seemingly never-ending headaches for policy makers. But there is a set of specialists profiting from such geopolitical problems: arbitration lawyers. About a dozen legal heavyweights are benefiting from the growing number of lucrative, complex international disputes. About 120 such actions worth more than $1 billion each are pending at international arbitration tribunals worldwide, according to a recent tally by American Lawyer magazine. read



8/26
  • With arbitration looming, what exactly is A-Rod's best defense?

    Now that Alex Rodriguez has placed a muzzle on his bulldog lawyer Joe Tacopina – though to be honest, Matt Lauer did a pretty good job of sending him whimpering to the kennel – perhaps we can get past the red herrings and histrionics and focus on the issue at hand.  How will A-Rod’s lawyers defend him where it matters, inside an arbitration hearing room? read



8/25
  • Arbitration Clauses That Avoid Arbitrability Disputes

    It is very common to draft an arbitration clause to apply only to certain types of disputes—but usually a mistake to do so. If the parties want arbitration for certain issues, they would be well advised to consider arbitration for all of them. read



8/22
  • A Brief History of MLB Drug-Suspension Arbitration (or: Don't Worry, A-Rod)

    Arbitrators have a tradition of overturning Major League Baseball commissioners' decisions regarding penalties for illegal drug use. read



8/21
  • Ireland: Guide To International Arbitration 2013

    Article by Nicola Dunleavy and Gearóid Carey read



8/20
  • NFL has agreed to outside arbitration for positive HGH tests

    The NFL and NFLPA haven’t reached final agreement on every issue regarding HGH testing. But the two sides have struck a deal on plenty of the pending points of contention. Per a league source, the areas of agreement include the use of third-party arbitration for positive HGH tests. Contrary to plenty of headlines and sound bites, the NFL has agreed to allow someone other than Commissioner Roger Goodell to make the final determination regarding whether a player has tested positive. read



8/19
  • The next frontier of arbitration litigation: lessons from state courts

    After reading more than 40 decisions about arbitration from state high courts, issued just in the past eight months, I have two bits of wisdom to share. First, that is not the best way to spend your summer vacation, even for a devoted arbitration nerd. And second, there are arbitration issues percolating in state courts that counsel practicing in this area should be aware of. In particular, state courts are: 1) working hard to avoid having the FAA preempt their developed defenses to arbitration clauses; and 2) confronting a lot of issues relating to whether there is an agreement to arbitrate at all (especially authority issues in nursing home settings). read



8/16
  • The International Comparative Legal Guide to International Arbitration 2013

    Chapter on USA by Peter J. Kalis & Roberta D. Anderson read



8/14
  • U.S. Supreme Court Rulings In Arbitration And Employment Matters

    The US Supreme Court continued its trend of business-friendly decision-making in the 2012-2013 term. In particular, the Court’s decisions on arbitration and employment-related issues gave companies and employers victories, enforcing arbitration agreements and limiting the scope of harassment and retaliation claims under Title VII. This article discusses four such decisions. The first two decisions concern the Court’s continued affirmance of the federal policy favoring enforcement of arbitration agreements. These decisions reflect the Court’s willingness to (1) enforce agreements containing dispute resolution methods even if those methods bar class actions and (2) defer to the arbitrator’s interpretation of those agreements, even if the Court believes the arbitrator wrongly interpreted the agreement. read



8/12
  • Judge Who Ruled Against Arbitration Activist Now an Arbitrator

    A former San Diego Superior Court judge who ruled against arbitration campaigner Jon Perz in his battle with a local car dealership has become an arbitrator. Judge Steven R. Denton sided against Perz during his six-year case against Mossy Toyota in Pacific Beach. Denton retired in June 2013 and soon after went to work for local arbitration company Judicate West. read



  • The emergence of an international arbitration culture

    International arbitration is an obscure field, even among lawyers. However, it is becoming more visible for the simple reason that the field is growing. Arbitration is now one of the most important means for the resolution of international business disputes, including — most notably from the public’s point of view — disputes between investors and the governments of countries in which they invest. Academics and policymakers have begun to describe international arbitration as a form of “global governance.” read



8/05
  • Forbes: The A In A-Rod Stands For Arbitration For A Reason

    Perhaps you are wondering why the most consistent statement from Alex Rodriguez throughout the pregame warm-ups to his suspension has been “I will appeal.” I suspect it is because he is lawyered up and well aware of the fact that through arbitration he has more advantages than if he does not appeal. read



  • Supreme Court’s recent American Express decision has far reaching implications for businesses seeking to avoid being sued in a class action

    The Court held that an arbitration agreement was enforceable regardless of the fact that the cost of pursuing a successful claim individually (rather than as a class) could effectively kill a party’s incentive to bring that claim. This ruling has far reaching implications and will likely lead to an increased use of arbitration agreements as a means to secure individualized treatment of potential future claims and avoid the cost of class litigation by consumers, merchants, employees and the like. read



8/02
  • Burdensome arbitration accords unenforceable, Arizona Court of Appeals says

    Arizonans can sue those who have harmed them, even in some cases in which they had voluntarily agreed to arbitrate instead, the state Court of Appeals has ruled. In a precedent-setting decision, the judges said arbitration agreements that are a financial burden on individuals are legally "unconscionable." And that, they said, makes them unenforceable. read



July 2013

7/30
  • Florida Court Rules that Mandatory Arbitration Contracts in Medical Malpractice Claims Illegal

    The Florida Supreme Court in the case Donna Franks vs. Gary John Bowers, M.D., has rejected written arbitration agreements in medical malpractice cases.   read



  • S'pore experiencing golden age in arbitration: Indranee Rajah

    Singapore is experiencing a golden age in the field of arbitration, said Senior Minister of State for Law Indranee Rajah. The total number of new cases handled by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) increased from 99 cases in 2008 to 235 cases in 2012. read



  • Arbitration nightmare

    Despite win, investors might never be paid.  Investor Sergio Alvarado of Round Lake, Ill., was awarded $748,000 in damages and interest in October after a dispute with his brokerage went through arbitration. Alvarado, however, still hasn't collected a dime. read


7/23
  • NBA's flopping rule could be headed to arbitration

    The National Basketball Players Association is seeking an arbitration hearing on the new flopping rule after the National Labor Relations Board recently declined to rule on it, and instead recommended that the matter be sent to an arbitrator. read



7/21
  • Fine Print: Christie Veto of School Arbitration Bill

    Gov. Chris Christie yesterday vetoed a bill passed this spring in the Senate and Assembly that would have given nonteaching staff in public schools certain job protections, including the right to binding arbitration in disciplinary matters. read



  • Crush of arbitration cases from financial crisis eases

    The surge of securities arbitration cases provoked by the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression is coming to an end. read



7/15
  • Nigeria: Arbitration In Resolution Of Commercial Disputes Will Boost Investors’ Confidence

    Former Chairman, section on Business Law of the Nigerian Bar Association, George Etomi has said that the use of arbitrations in resolving commercial dispute will help to stabilize the country’s growing economy and boost investors’ confidence. read



  • Litigation or arbitration: how best to resolve cross-border disputes in the financial sector?

    A primer on decision-making for financial institutions considering arbitration and drafting arbitration clauses in their cross-border contracts. read



  • Questions and answers about arbitration

    An arbitrator is an impartial party hired as an independent contractor by the employer and union involved in the dispute. They listen to the arguments of the case and write a decision based on the language contained in the union’s collective bargaining agreement and applicable laws. The parties agree in advance that the arbitrator’s decision will be final and binding. read



7/14
  • Once a cheaper alternative, arbitration becoming more costly

    In Ohio, the average cost of an arbitrator runs $1,006 a day, according to a study by the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service. After fees for travel and other expenses, an arbitrator takes home $4,965 per case, based on an average case duration of about 4.5 days. That’s an 11 percent increase since 2009. read



7/09
  • Factors for Considering Mandatory Arbitration of Employment Disputes

    Arbitration of employment claims can be an effective form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that benefits the employee and employer alike. When it works well -- and regardless of whether the employer ultimately is found liable -- both parties can realize cost savings and efficiencies without sacrificing the ability to present your case or the quality of that presentation. Certainly, these are the benefits that make arbitration attractive to companies. However, whether this continues to be the reality of arbitration today is an entirely separate question. read



7/08
  • Georgia seeks to be arbitration center for international business disputes

    Georgia, and most importantly the City of Atlanta, is a great place for conducting international business. The airport in Atlanta and port in Savannah together put the state at a global trade and transportation hot spot. With our mild climate, advantageous costs of living, and pro-business environment, Georgia shines as a place to locate international facilities. Now we have another advantage in our international trade infrastructure with a major overhaul of Georgia’s international commercial arbitration law. read



  • Forced Arbitration: When Your Rights Get the Runaround

    The phrase “I’ll see you in court!” may be going the way of “Brother, can you spare a dime?” There’s a disturbing trend in the contracts you sign – for everything from credit cards to cellphones to even leasing a car or building a home. It boils down to two words: forced arbitration. And it’s as ominous as it sounds. read



  • Fired China Soccer Coach to Seek Arbitration

    Fired Chinese national soccer team coach Jose Antonio Camacho will seek arbitration after failing to reach agreement with the China Football Association over compensation for his dismissal. China terminated Camacho’s contract last month after the men’s team lost 5-1 at home to Thailand on June 15, its third home defeat that month. The 58-year-old Spaniard, who was hired on a three-year contract in August 2011, failed to guide the team to next year’s World Cup in Brazil. read



7/03
  • Arbitration Scorecard 2013

    It's been 10 years since we published our first Arbitration Scorecard and cracked open the door to the hidden world of international arbitration. With every biennial survey, the door keeps opening wider. Arbitration Scorecard 2013 spotlights 165 treaty arbitrations and 109 contract arbitrations that were active in 2011–12, including a record 121 billion-dollar disputes. What makes these cases interesting, though, goes beyond dollars and cents: They also capture the political and economic crosscurrents of our time. read



  • More opt for arbitration to settle commercial disputes in Mideast

    Businesses operating in the Middle East are increasingly turning to arbitration over litigation in resolving disputes. A large number of these disputes have been construction industry-related; pertaining to issues of breach of contract and/or payment default. “Since the UAE’s accession to the New York Convention in 2006 and the coming into force of the Dubai International Arbitration Centre’s (DIAC) revised arbitration rules in 2007, Dubai has emerged as an attractive hub for the resolution of both domestic and international commercial disputes through arbitration. read



June 2013

6/25
  • Justices Support Corporate Arbitration

    The Supreme Court has reinforced the ability of corporations to write their own rules for resolving disputes with customers, finding that a group of merchants were bound by an arbitration agreement with American Express even if the terms made it prohibitively expensive to pursue some types of claims against the company. read



6/24
  • Supreme Court Supports Companies Forcing Arbitration as Alternative to Class Action Suits

    In the coming year, millions of American consumers will unknowingly suffer a serious loss of their constitutional rights, simply by receiving a billing statement from a creditor or service provider. Thanks to a Supreme Court case decided last week, the “Terms and Conditions” documents included with a bill—and invariably set in tiny print—will contain obscure legal language that strips away the constitutional right to demand a jury trial if a dispute arises. read



6/17
  • When mandatory arbitration replaces litigation, consumers lose

    Legislation that would eliminate required arbitration for employee, consumer and civil rights disputes was proposed last month. It should be passed. Congress must act to restore fairness.
    Big business and corporate money, along with a corporate friendly Supreme Court, have been enough in the past to defeat efforts to bring fairness back to the arena of routine consumer and employee rights. Unfortunately, the same thing is likely to happen again, and the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2013 that has been introduced in the House (and a similar bill in the Senate) will likely fail. read



6/14
  • Arbitration Means Never Having To Say You're Sorry

    Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in Oxford Health Plans LLC v. Sutter was to be the Supreme Court’s definitive holding that class relief cannot be imposed if an arbitration agreement does not expressly permit class relief. Employers salivating to hear from Oxford Health that their arbitration agreements are class-action-proof, however, were bitterly disappointed. A (rare) unanimous Court resolved the case on a simpler principle: when you ask for arbitration, that’s exactly what you get. If, after the fact, you don’t like what you asked for, tough. read



6/10
  • Credit card binding arbitration system crumbling

    2nd arbitration firm pulls out; Chase will no longer participate read



  • Arbitration ruling gives power to arbitrators

    Justices leave it to arbitrators to determine if contract allows classwide relief. Supreme Court rules arbitrator did not exceed authority in allowing class arbitration read



  • California thumbs nose at Federal Arbitration Act -- again

    The California courts say they like arbitration. But they don’t like the Federal Arbitration Act. Not one little bit. Especially that part about the FAA requiring that “private agreements to arbitrate are enforced according to their terms,” and barring any state rule that “stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes and objectives” of the FAA. You see, California prides itself on its public policy, and it doesn’t like to see the “supreme law of the land” get in the way. read



  • The arbitration from hell

    Supporters of arbitration as a form of dispute resolution point to its many advantages. These include quicker resolution, finality and use of an impartial arbitrator. There are many arbitration proceedings in which these advantages are well-illustrated. But one of them was not the arbitration in Thomas Kinkade Company v. White and Lighthouse Galleries. read



6/09
  • Think Patent Arbitration can't Work? Think Again.

    If arbitration is so great, why are so few patent disputes resolved in arbitration? More important, are patent litigants missing something? Should they rely on arbitration more often? read



6/06
  • Don't Understate the Advantages of Arbitration

    While arbitration is imperfect, the real question is how it fares compared with the realities — rather than our romantic ideals — of the courtroom. read



  • Promotion Of Arbitration In The 21st Century

    While pundits complain about the United States Supreme Court's diminishing docket, one area of law seems to have increased in popularity with the justices: arbitration law, and in particular the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). The Supreme Court has unmistakably increased enforcement of the "liberal federal policy favoring arbitration" underlying the Federal Arbitration Act. The Court has overruled state courts that have continued to exhibit what the Court has called "judicial hostility" toward arbitration, read



6/03
  • Arbitration cases a growing revenue stream for law firms

    The old refrain, “See you in court!” is so last century. The latest trend in resolving contractual disputes is the less expensive, out-of-court process of arbitration. Even the Kardashians include an arbitration clause in their contracts, and you can’t get any trendier than that. read



6/02
  • California arbitration clause struck down: Where employer went wrong

    When it comes to the enforceability of arbitration agreements, it’s hard for California employers to know what to expect these days. One thing is certain, though: Courts will still strike down arbitration agreements they find to be unfair or one-sided. read



May 2013

5/29
  • Morning Report: How Consumers Lost the Arbitration War

    Binding arbitration has become a potent weapon for companies that want to avoid losing lawsuits to customers. Here we look at how things went south for every one of us who buys goods and services. read



5/20
  • Arbitration Nation: Attorneys debate merits of arbitration agreements

    Many people may not know what an arbitration agreement is, but chances are they have probably signed one. "Have you ever bought an appliance with a major credit card? Did you look at the back of the receipt? You probably just signed a contract of arbitration," explained Jeff Stewart, an attorney. This, of course, isn't the only type of arbitration agreement. There are different types in the labor and commercial sector. read



  • Justice for Sale, Part One: Arbitration Purgatory

    Perz said an independent expert he hired concluded the car had probably been submerged in water, causing the electrics to fail and rotting the vehicle’s frame with rust. Perz decided he couldn’t in good faith sell it to recoup his money. So he hired a lawyer. That’s when he learned that he couldn’t take Mossy to court. “My lawyer said I had to go to to arbitration,” Perz said. “I didn’t know even what that was.” read



  • Group calls for uniform international arbitration rules

    Lawyers are hoping for more consistent rules for international arbitration across Canada as plans are in the works to smooth out differences between the provinces and territories.  A working group is looking into creating consistent laws throughout the country on issues from the power of arbitral tribunals to make ex parte orders to whether it’s appropriate to have the same limitation periods everywhere in Canada.  It’s a step toward making Canada an “arbitration-friendly” country, says Gerald Ghikas, a commercial arbitration lawyer at Vancouver Arbitration Chambers who’s also chairman of a working group that’s proposing the changes. read



  • State Supreme Court Mandates Arbitration in Nursing Home Death Case

    The Florida Supreme Court recently made it more difficult for the families of wrongful death victims to have their cases heard in court. In February, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a mandatory arbitration agreement signed by an elderly nursing home patient extended to, and was binding on, his estate and heirs. Many states refuse to enforce binding arbitration clauses in nursing home contracts, as they can be unconscionably biased in favor of the nursing home, but the justices refused to make such a declaration in this case. read



5/17
  • Charles Schwab Drops Forced-Arbitration Clause From Contracts

    After AT&T somehow convinced the U.S. Supreme Court that a couple of sentences buried toward the end of a contract that maybe .05% of customers ever think about reading was all that was needed to preempt class-action lawsuits, many large companies have rushed to pack their user agreements and licenses with clauses that force customers into arbitration. But, stuck in a battle with an industry regulator, the folks at Charles Schwab have decided to go another way, announcing that they have gotten rid of their arbitration clause… for now. read



  • More ADR Tools for Shippers

    Arbitration, and not litigation, is the driving force behind rules that federal regulators hope will settle simmering disputes between freight railroads and shippers, including coal plant operators.

    The Surface Transportation Board announced the policies May 13, after nearly three years of studying prolonged rate challenge cases. “Changes to the arbitration rules are intended to consolidate and simplify formerly separate arbitration procedures and to encourage greater use of arbitration,” the board said. read



  • Amazon wants seller lawsuit to go to arbitration

    Amazon.com’s response to two former sellers complaining about tied-up payments can be summed up as: We’ll see you in arbitration.  Seattle-based Amazon, in a 28-page document filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle, asks Judge Marsha Pechman to move the case to arbitration. The two sellers claimed in a lawsuit filed in March that Amazon refused to pay them for more than 90 days after it shuttered their accounts. They want full restitution of “monies wrongfully obtained,” plus interest and other unspecified damages.

    In its response, Amazon noted that when the plaintiffs signed up to sell products on its website they agreed to arbitrate any disputes.  The suit, which seeks class-action status, says Amazon routinely holds sellers’ money longer than allowed to rack up interest and “reap many tens of millions of dollars annually.” read



5/14
  • Arbitration Fairness Act of 2013 Introduced in Congress

    As discussed by the American Association for Justice, the new law seeks to end the abusive practice of so many large corporations, including nursing home conglomerates, that seek to insulate themselves from legal accountability with forced arbitration. As the AAJ summarized, the law is critically needed, because when it comes to arbitration, “The process is secretive, costly and rigged so that corporations cannot be held accountable. By removing access to justice, it grants corporations a license to steal and violate the law.” read



  • Forcing arbitration to do good

    A reform that was supposed to help the average American and cut the costs of litigation ended up being hijacked by the large and powerful. Now legislation has been introduced in Washington to return the effort to something resembling its original goals. read



5/08
  • Appeal court rules on serving arbitration notice by email

    In Continental Sales Ltd v R Shipping Inc., the Lagos Court of Appeal ruled that serving an arbitration notice by email constitutes effective service of the arbitration notice under the English Arbitration Act 1996, for the purposes of registering and enforcing a foreign arbitral award in Nigeria. read



5/06
  • Class Actions, Yes; Forced Arbitration, No!

    What do the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (with over 200 organizational members), Consumers Union (publisher of Consumer Reports), the AFL-CIO, the NAACP, the National Women’s Law Center, and the Center for Justice & Democracy, have in common? Many good things, of course, but yesterday, they were all among a boatload of organizations signing a letter supporting the introduction of the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2013. This legislation would end forced arbitration. read



  • A Chink in the Mandatory Arbitration Armor

    I have long railed against the insidious system known as mandatory arbitration which is foisted upon investors who deal with brokers. I testified about the unfairness of this system before a congressional sub-committee. I co-authored a study showing the dismal results for investors when they attempted to recover losses caused by the misconduct of their brokers. It's not surprising that a comprehensive study found most participants in these arbitrations believed the sessions were biased and unfair. read



April 2013

4/30
  • Lawmakers urge US SEC to bar forced Wall Street arbitration

    A group of 37 federal lawmakers urged U.S. securities regulators to prohibit Wall Street brokers from forcing customers to sign away their legal right to sue. read



4/28
  • Sixth Circuit rejects arbitration title that it finds "was a model of how not to conduct one"

    A previously vacated award of $1.4 million to a former Thomas Kinkade artwork dealer was not revived on appeal this month due to the same irregularities in the arbitration process that had caused a federal district court to reject the award in 2010. read



4/24
  • FEMA will try using binding arbitration to resolve disputes by applicants for disaster assistance

    In accordance with the Sandy Recovery and Improvement Act, which was signed into law by President Obama last January, FEMA is planning to set up a pilot program to organize approximately 50 to 75 arbitrations to try to resolve disputes between applicants for disaster assistance (legitimately valued at $1 million or more) and FEMA. read



  • Stripper class action sent to arbitration

    The three strippers who filed a class action lawsuit against their former employer have agreed to participate in arbitration. read



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