According to a report appearing in today’s Law360, CFPB Director Rohit Chopra has indicated that the agency appears unlikely, at least in the near future, to undertake new rulemaking that would regulate the use of consumer arbitration agreements.  The CFPB’s previous rule—which would have forbidden companies from including class action waivers in consumer arbitration agreements—was overridden by Congress in 2017 under the Congressional Review Act. … Continue Reading

Recently, a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held in Zirpoli v. Midland Funding, LLC that an arbitrator, not the district court, must decide whether class action claims brought against Midland Funding LLC are subject to arbitration.  The question in Zirpoli was whether a challenge to the legality of an assignment of a loan that is subject to an arbitration agreement challenges the formation of the arbitration agreement itself. … Continue Reading

The U.S. Department of Education recently announced proposed regulations designed to expand and improve the major student loan discharge programs authorized by the Higher Education Act.  Among other things, the proposed regulations would prohibit institutions that participate in the Federal Direct Loan program from requiring borrowers to sign mandatory pre-dispute arbitration agreements or class-action waivers. … Continue Reading

The U.S. Supreme Court has once again confirmed that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempts incompatible state laws that preclude contracting parties from controlling which claims are subject to arbitration.  Ruling in favor of the employer in Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana, the Court held that the California courts erred in refusing to compel arbitration of an employee’s individual claim under the State’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA).… Continue Reading

For the second time in two weeks, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against a company seeking to compel individual arbitration of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective action claims.  In Southwest Airlines Co. v. Saxon, the Court held that the plaintiff’s claims were exempt from arbitration under Section 1 of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), which exempts from the statute’s ambit “contracts of employment of seamen, railroad employees, or any other class of workers engaged in foreign or interstate commerce.” … Continue Reading

The U.S. Supreme Court today held that waiver of the right to arbitrate does not require a showing that the other party was prejudiced.  The unanimous opinion by Justice Kagan in Morgan v. Sundance reversed the Eighth Circuit, which had held that a party waives the right to arbitrate if it knew of the right, acted inconsistently with that right and prejudiced the other party by its inconsistent actions. … Continue Reading

Recently, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reexamined when use of a website can bind a consumer to hyperlinked “terms and conditions” containing an arbitration provision that the consumer never saw or read.  Affirming the district court, the appeals court held that the plaintiffs in Berman v. Freedom Financial Network, LLC did not enter into a binding agreement to arbitrate because they did not “unambiguously manifest their assent to the terms and conditions when navigating through the [defendants’] websites.”… Continue Reading

Ruling on an important Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) procedural issue that has divided the circuit courts, the U.S. Supreme Court has decided that the “look-through” approach often used in determining whether federal jurisdiction exists to decide motions to compel arbitration filed under Section 4 of the FAA does not apply to motions to confirm or vacate arbitration awards filed under Sections 9 and 10 of that statute. … Continue Reading

A recent blog by Professor Jeff Sovern, occasioned by the recent Senate hearing on consumer arbitration clauses, recycles two of his favorite talking points: (1) consumers don’t understand arbitration clauses, and (2) consumers only benefit from post-dispute, not pre-dispute, arbitration.  We’ve heard it all before, and our previous responses to his earlier iterations of those same arguments have stood the test of time.… Continue Reading

The U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan bill aimed at preventing employers from requiring workers to arbitrate sexual harassment and assault claims.  The bill will now go to President Biden for his expected signature.  Known as the “Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021,”  the bill will amend the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) to prohibit enforcement of contract clauses that require arbitration of workplace sexual harassment or assault claims.… Continue Reading