Mintz Member Gilbert A. Samberg authored two articles, published recently by Bloomberg Law, that addressed a fundamental question concerning the legal viability of “class arbitration”: whether an arbitrator can issue an award that binds a person who is not a party to or otherwise deemed by law bound by the bilateral arbitration agreement upon which the arbitral proceeding and the arbitrator’s authority are founded—e.g., a non-appearing non-party putative class member.
In a Bloomberg Law Insights column, Mr. Samberg provided a brief analysis of caselaw concerning this question. “The U.S. Supreme Court has signaled, but not held, that that is a dubious proposition. In Jock v. Sterling Jewelers, the Second Circuit recently identified circumstances in which, it opined, the courts may not vacate an arbitral award permitting ‘class arbitration,’ and that award may bind all putative members of a class, including non-appearing non-parties to the controlling arbitration agreement,” he wrote. He offered advice accordingly to parties that make substantially identical arbitration agreements with multiple counter-parties.
In a Bloomberg Law Practical Perspectives column, Mr. Samberg examined in greater depth the Second Circuit’s recent decision in Jock v. Sterling Jewelers, and noted that it “adds to the issues that the Supreme Court may eventually get to address, but works to delay its eventual reception there.”
Read the full Insights column here.
Read the full Practical Perspectives column here.