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Total Articles: 10

SCOTUS Rules Equitable Tolling Does Not Save Successive Class Action Lawsuits

On June 11, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a landmark decision in China Agritech, Inc. v. Resh, addressing a split in the federal circuit courts of appeal, arising from differing applications of the equitable tolling rules articulated in two prior Supreme Court decisions, American Pipe & Construction Co. v. Utah (1974) and Crown, Cork & Seal Co. v. Parker (1983). In China Agritech, the Court examined whether, following denial of class certification in a putative class action, a would-be class member may commence a new class action beyond the time allowed by the applicable statute of limitations, “in lieu of promptly joining an existing suit,” as permitted in American Pipe, or filing an individual action, as permitted under Crown, Cork. The Court answered in the negative: equitable tolling does not apply to save subsequent class actions from the applicable statute of limitations.

Class Action Stacking Is Not Permitted, U.S. Supreme Court Rules

Once class action certification has been denied, a putative class member may not start a new class action beyond the applicable statute of limitations, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled, 9-0, in an opinion by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. China Agritech, Inc. v. Resh, No. 17-432 (June 11, 2018). Justice Sonia Sotomayor filed an opinion concurring in the judgment.

The Supreme Court Will Rule on Data Breach Class Arbitration Suit

The U.S. Supreme Court recently granted a petition for review of a data breach lawsuit addressing the issue of whether parties can pursue a class arbitration when the language in the arbitration agreement does not explicitly allow for such, Lamps Plus, Inc. v. Varela , No. 17-988, certiorari granted April 30, 2018. The Court will have the opportunity to clarify its 2010 decision in Stolt-Nielsen v. AnimalFeeds International Corp., 559 U.S. 662 (2010) in which the Court ruled that parties cannot be forced into class arbitration, “unless there is contractual basis for concluding [they] agreed to do so”.

Supreme Court Upholds Class Action Waivers in Employment Arbitration Agreements

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a highly anticipated decision on May 21, 2018, ruling that class and collective action waivers in employment arbitration agreements are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) and do not violate Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The 5-4 decision, written by Justice Neil Gorsuch in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis and two other cases consolidated with Epic Systems, allows employers to require workers to arbitrate legal claims on an individual basis, in effect prohibiting class or collective cases.

Is Silence Golden? Supreme Court to Rule on Silent Class Arbitration Waivers

The United States Supreme Court is taking another bite at the arbitration waiver apple. In addition to its landmark decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, where the Supreme Court held that class and collective action waivers in employment arbitration agreements are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act, the Supreme Court has granted cert to review the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Varela v. Lamp Plus, Inc. and will decide whether workers can arbitrate on a class-wide basis where the agreement in question is silent on class arbitration.

Arbitration of ERISA Claims – Update

Some of you may remember that back in 2015, we published an article entitled Arbitration of ERISA Claims – Yes You Can! A link to that article can be found here. In that article, we suggested that one key reason for adding ERISA claims to your arbitration agreement was to avoid class actions through the inclusion of a class action waiver in the arbitration agreement. Particularly on the pension side, ERISA class actions can involve millions of dollars of exposure and litigation costs.

Supreme Court Restricts Employee Class Actions in Pro-Arbitration Ruling

Companies may compel their employees to arbitrate workplace disputes individually rather than as part of a class action, the US Supreme Court has ruled. The Court's 5-4 decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis broke down along partisan lines and could affect an estimated 25 million employment contracts.


This morning, the United States Supreme Court issued its long-awaited opinion in three consolidated cases pending before it (NLRB v. Murphy Oil Co.; Epic Systems Corp. v Lewis; Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris) on the issue of whether a class action waiver provision in an employment arbitration agreement violates the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) and is, thereby, unenforceable.

U.S. Supreme Court's Watershed Decision Preserves Arbitration Agreements, for Now - Dissent Encourages Legislature to Attempt to Reverse the Decision

Executive Summary: Yesterday, the Supreme Court, in a strongly divided 5-4 ruling, upheld mandatory arbitration agreements prohibiting employees from bringing employment claims on a class or collective basis. That decision, Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, is available here. This long-awaited decision is one of the most important in employment law in the past several years. As the thirty-page dissent made clear, however, depending on the make-up of a new Congress, we may see legislation that reverses this ruling. Nevertheless, the Court’s ruling is straightforward, expected and the clear law of the land going forward.

Supreme Court Finds in Favor of Employment Arbitration Clauses

On Monday, the Supreme Court issued an opinion regarding the validity of arbitration clauses in individual employment contracts. The decision, referred to here as “Epic Systems,” consolidated three separate cases-- Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, Ernst & Young, LLP v. Morris, and NLRB v. Murphy Oil, USA. At issue was the question of whether employers could require that employment disputes be settled through individual arbitration or whether waivers of the ability to proceed with a class or collective action necessarily violate the command of entirely different statutes that allow employees to engage in collective or concerted activity. In a 5 to 4 holding, the Court affirmed that such arbitration provisions are valid and enforceable.