Africa’s economic growth is picking up pace and is expected to reach 6.3% in East Africa and 3.4% in Sub-Saharan Africa by the end of this year.  Foreign direct investment into Africa is also expected to increase from $41.8bn to $50bn, due in part to the signing of the historic African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement in March. As international investment and trade in Africa increases, so does the number and frequency of commercial…
Every time I think the spate of state supreme court opinions about nursing home arbitration surely must be over, another one comes out to prove me wrong.  Last week, it was one from Alabama, finding an arbitration agreement was never formed, because the resident lacked capacity and the daughter who signed on his behalf lacked power of attorney. In Stephan v. Millennium Nursing & Rehab Ctr., 2018 WL 4846501 (Ala. Oct. 5, 2018), the decedent’s estate…
Arbitrator awarded back pay but no reinstatement – rejects request to reconsider decision As noted in an earlier post, Facebook postings grounds for dismissal of police officer, but delay in City’s response warrants backpay, Arbitrator Eric Lindauer found that the City of West Linn, Oregon had just cause to terminate the employment of a police officer because his racially charged Facebook posts violated the City’s Social Media policy and because he “could reasonably be perceived…
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has rejected a public policy challenge to the reinstatement of a police officer found by an arbitrator to have made “intentionally misleading …but less than intentionally false” statements in a police report. City of Pittsfield v. Local 447 International Brotherhood of Police Officers. Grievant had arrested an individual who had been identified by a supermarket’s security department as having  engaged in shoplifting. He placed the individual in the back of his…
I would understand if not every state supreme court got the memo from last year’s SCOTUS decision on FAA preemption, Kindred, which reminded state courts that the FAA prevents state courts from imposing additional requirements on arbitration agreements that are not required for other types of contracts.  But Kentucky definitely got the memo.  The memo was addressed to Kentucky. Yet, last week the Supreme Court of Kentucky released a new decision that continues to…
The Nassau County (NY) District Attorney’s office has challenged a decision of Arbitrator John Sands ordering the reinstatement of  Investigator (and Local Union President) Michael Falzanaro. Nassau DA challenges ruling that her office improperly disclosed wiretap The DA’s office had a wiretap in place in connection with an investigation of municipal corruption. In August 2016, while monitoring certain calls pursuant to an eavesdropping warrant, investigators overhead the subjects of the warrant mention grievant’s name. The DA’s office applied…
Usually the plaintiffs in a class action want to stay out of arbitration, but in the recent case of JPAY v. Kobel, 2018 WL 4472207 (11th Cir. Sept. 19, 2018), it was the class representatives who were fighting for arbitration.  In particular, they wanted the arbitrator to decide whether they could have a class action.  And they won. In a case that reads as if it is charting significant new ground, even though the court
Each of these topics is the subject of recent  court action. In MultiCare Health Systems v. Washington State Nurses Association, the Ninth Circuit reversed a District Court order vacating certain remedies ordered in an award of Arbitrator Douglas P. Hammond. The Union’s grievance claimed that Multicare violated the terms of a settlement agreement requiring MultiCare to provide employees with  a 15 minute break periods for every four hours worked. Arbitrator Hammond sustained the grievance and…
The First Circuit just faced a fascinating formation issue: if a customer cannot see what she is signing, and no employee reads it to her or ensures she knows there are legal terms, is there a contract?  With Justice Souter sitting by designation on the panel, the court answered “no,” and thereby kept a class action in the courts. National Federation of the Blind v. The Container Store, Inc., 2018 WL 4378174 (1st Cir. Sept.…
In today’s post I recount an epic battle between the Rules of Professional Conduct (tagline: saving clients from unscrupulous lawyers for over 100 years!) and the Uniform Arbitration Act (tagline: saving arbitration from hostile judges for 60 years!) in the Supreme Court of California.  Spoiler alert: the Rules of Professional Conduct win. The story in Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP v. J-M Manufacturing Co., 2018 WL 4137103 (Cal. Aug. 30, 2018), begins with a “large…