Jun 2, 2022

Unanimous U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Prejudice Requirement for Arbitration Waiver

On May 23, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court considered the question of waiver in a case governed by the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) and held that a party can waive its right to arbitration irrespective of whether the other party suffered prejudice. Morgan v. Sundance, Inc., No. 21-328 Robyn Morgan worked as an hourly employee for Sundance, Inc., a Taco Bell franchisee that operated more than 150 Taco Bell restaurants. Morgan worked for Sundance’s Taco Bell restaurant in Osceola, Iowa. When she applied for that job, she signed an arbitration agreement in which she agreed to “use confidential binding arbitration,… Read more

Mar 8, 2022

Rescission of Agreement Defeats Arbitration Clause

Authored by: Marcia M. Ernst The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed the district court’s denial of a defendant’s motion to compel arbitration because the parties had mutually rescinded the settlement agreement containing the arbitration clause. In Reiterman v. Abid,[1] a law school admissions test prep teacher sued a former student in 2018, claiming she had defamed him by creating anonymous blogposts that accused him of sexually assaulting multiple women.[2] The former student denied involvement in the internet smear campaign, and the teacher and student entered into a settlement agreement in the summer of 2018. The settlement agreement included… Read more

Dec 20, 2021

Georgia Supreme Court Protects Arbitration Awards Against Court Review

Supreme Court and Lady Justice

Arbitration provides a forum in which parties can resolve disputes without going to court. Both Federal and Georgia law promote arbitration by limiting the ability of parties to challenge arbitration awards in court. The extent of that protection under Georgia law was at issue before the Georgia Supreme Court in Adventure Motorsports Reinsurance, Ltd. v. Interstate National Dealer Services, Case No. S21G0008 (decided December 14, 2021). That case arose out of a set of agreements relating to the sale of motorsports vehicle service contracts. The parties disagreed about how funds were to be divided under the various agreements but agreed… Read more

Feb 21, 2018

Attempt to Add an Arbitration Clause to a Customer Agreement during Litigation is Ineffective


In Dasher v. RBC Bank (USA), Case No. 15-13871 (decided February 13, 2018), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit considered whether a bank could invoke an arbitration clause to block litigation when the bank had added the arbitration clause to its customer agreement by amendment while the litigation was in progress. The Eleventh Circuit held that the bank could not. Mr. Dasher filed a lawsuit against RBC Bank regarding the bank’s overdraft practices. A 2008 customer agreement contained an arbitration agreement, but a 2012 amendment to the customer agreement, issued while the case was pending, had… Read more

Aug 2, 2016

The Importance of a Well Drafted License and Arbitration Clause

By: Joyce Klemmer The Patent Act was amended in 1982 to recognize voluntary arbitration for patent disputes relating to validity or infringement and courts have extended the provision to include interference claims and questions of inventorship. 35 U.S.C. § 294.  “The Federal Arbitration Act mandates enforcement of valid, written arbitration provisions. When a party moves to compel arbitration of a dispute, a court must determine whether the parties agreed to arbitrate that dispute. This inquiry requires a court to determine whether the dispute between the parties falls within the scope of the arbitration agreement.  Thus, ‘a court may order arbitration… Read more

Aug 1, 2016

The Eleventh Circuit Again Favors Arbitration

Bodine v. Cook’s Pest Control, Inc., Case No. 15-13233 (decided July 29, 2016), enforced an arbitration agreement in an employment contract. In that case, the Court dealt with the impact of the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) on the arbitration agreement. Mr. Bodine was employed by Cook’s Pest Control. His armed forces commitment required him to take leave from work. He contended that his employer discriminated against him because of his military service obligations, which gave him a cause of action under USERRA. Mr. Bodine filed a lawsuit against Cook’s, but he had an arbitration… Read more

Nov 3, 2014

The Eleventh Circuit Addresses Who Determines Arbitrability

In U.S. Nutraceuticals, LLC v. Cyanotech Corp., Case No. 13-12863 (decided October 30, 2014), the Eleventh Circuit addressed the issue of whether a court or an arbitrator must decide the question whether a particular dispute is subject to arbitration. The Eleventh Circuit’s reasoning in that case strongly endorses the view that the arbitrator must decide that issue. U.S. Nutraceuticals (also known as Valensa) were parties to two contracts with Cyanotech, one made in 2007 and a second made in 2010. The 2007 contract had a broad arbitration clause. The 2010 contract had a very similar arbitration clause; however, the 2010… Read more

Sep 18, 2013

Can You Arbitrate Where You Want To?

Authored by: Darren Rowles A forum selection clause is a contractual provision designating a certain state or court as the jurisdiction in which the parties will resolve disputes arising out of their contract.  These clauses are very common in the construction industry.  Just as common are agreements to arbitrate disputes arising out of the contract, which may also select where the dispute will be heard.  If, for example, a Georgia company enters into contracts to perform work outside of the state, it might still want its contract to include a provision indicating that all disputes relating to the contract are… Read more