SCOTUS to Decide Whether FAA Permits Class Arbitration when Contract Silent

On June 15, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari, for the second time this decade, to decide whether the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) permits class arbitration where the arbitration clause is silent on the matter. See Stolt-Nielsen S.A., et al., v. Animalfeeds International Corp., 548 F.3d 85 (2d Cir. 2008).

Customer and commercial agreements increasingly contain arbitration clauses to standardize the resolution of disputes. Attempts to implement their explicit written provisions or silence about class arbitrations have met with mixed results. The grant of certiorari presents an opportunity for the Supreme Court to provide needed clarity on the issue. This case presents an opportunity for the Section to present its views on this important matter. The Section should consider how best to address this opportunity.

 

Richard C. Lorenzo

Partner

Hogan & Hartson LLP

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E-mail: rlorenzo@hhlaw.com

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