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FCRA Class Action Foiled by Comcast Arbitration Agreement

A Comcast arbitration agreement by which a former subscriber to the cable service agreed to arbitrate “any claim or controversy related to Comcast” was enforced by the court in Hearn v. Comcast Cable Communications, LLC, 992 F.3d 1209 (11th Cir. 2021), overturning a contrary decision by the Northern District of Georgia. The arbitration agreement was included in Comcast’s subscriber...

Email Service of Motion to Vacate Arbitration Award Not Sufficient Without Prior Express Consent, and Agreement to Arbitrate Under AAA Rules Does Not Provide Such Consent

The Eleventh Circuit rejected an argument from a party seeking to vacate an arbitration award that an email courtesy copy of a “notice of motion” was effective service under the Federal Arbitration Act.  In O’Neal Constructors, LLC v. DRT America, LLC, 2021 WL 1220710 (11th Cir. Apr. 1, 2021), the appellant, DRT, sought to vacate an arbitration award in O’Neal’s favor. Section 12 of...

Employee Arbitration Award Stands Despite Arbitrators’ Alleged Misinterpretation of the Contract

The Eleventh Circuit refused to vacate an employee’s arbitration award for nearly $4 million for wrongful termination based on the employer’s claim that the arbitration panel misinterpreted the parties’ employment and arbitration agreements in Gherardi v. Citigroup Global Markets Inc., 2020 WL 5553255 (11th Cir. Sept. 17, 2020). The employee brought several claims in arbitration,...

Herbalife Top Distributors Lose Arbitration Bid

Top distributors of the sometimes controversial nutrition products marketer Herbalife lost their bid to compel arbitration of RICO and related claims made by lower-level distributors in Lavigne v. Herbalife, Ltd., 2020 WL 4342671 (11th Cir. July 29, 2020), which affirmed the order of a Florida district court. The top distributors, alleged to be part of Herbalife’s “Circle of Success,”...

Public Policy Defense to Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Award Requires Showing That Award Violates the United States’ “Most Basic Notions of Morality and Justice”

The United States has acceded to The New York Convention (the “Convention”), which requires participating nations to enforce arbitration agreements and foreign arbitral awards. Federal district courts generally enforce foreign arbitral awards unless a party establishes one of seven defenses enumerated in Article V of the Convention. One such defense is that an award is contrary to the...

Eleventh Circuit Joins Majority of Circuits in Holding That FAA Prohibits Pre-Hearing Discovery From Non-Parties

After twenty years of litigation in Managed Care Advisory Group, LLC v. Cigna Healthcare, Inc., 2019 WL 4464301 (Sept. 18, 2019), the Eleventh Circuit issued a per curiam opinion reversing the enforcement of arbitral summonses and holding that the FAA implicitly withholds the power to compel documents from non-parties without summoning them to testify. Beginning in 1999, medical...

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