Karl Bayer, Arbitrator, Mediator & Special Master

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The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has established a class notice standard related to workers who sign arbitration agreements in a wage and hour dispute filed against social media giant Facebook.  In Bigger v. Facebook, Inc., No. 19-1944 (7th Cir., January 24, 2020), a Facebook employee, Bigger, filed a putative class action lawsuit against Facebook in the Northern District of Illinois.  According to Bigger, the company failed to provide her…
Amy J. Schmitz, Elwood L. Thomas Missouri Endowed Professor of Law at the University of Missouri School of Law, has written “Dangers of Digitizing Due Process,” University of Missouri School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2020-01 (Draft to be Edited and Included in Published Proceedings with Cyberjustice Laboratory).  In her research article, Professor Schmitz examines potential concerns related to the increasing role of technology in the dispute resolution process.…
Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) is not a new concept and has received significant scholarly attention. Nevertheless, there is still serious confusion over what ODR even means. As a recent scholar noted: “The phrase ODR is too broad to be useful.” For ODR to be properly utilized, more clarity is needed to help practitioners understand the scope, benefits, and drawbacks of ODR. This post is the first in a new series seeking to shed…
A North Carolina federal court has ordered a data breach lawsuit that was filed against Epic Games, the developer of the popular video game Fortnite, to individual arbitration.  In Heidbreder v. Epic Games, Inc., No. 5:19-cv-00348 (E.D.N.C. February 3, 2020), a Missouri man accused Epic Games of failing to adequately secure customer financial and other data.  In his putative class action complaint, Heidbreder claimed this failure resulted in his debit card account information being…
A California federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction against a new state law that would prohibit employers from requiring workers to sign a mandatory arbitration provision as a condition of employment.  In Chamber of Commerce of the USA et al. v. Becerra et al., No. 2:19-cv-02456, a group of plaintiffs filed a complaint in the Eastern District of California asking the court to declare California’s AB 51 preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act. …
A thought-provoking book about alternative dispute resolution was recently made available for download online.  The book, titled “University of Theories of Change for the Dispute Resolution Movement: Actionable Ideas to Revitalize Our Movement,” John Lande, ed., 2020; Missouri School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2020-03, was edited by University of Missouri School of Law Professor Emeritus John Lande.  A wide variety of legal scholars, including Lande, contributed to the work.…
On Friday, the Supreme Court of Texas overruled its 2004 decision in In re Wood on the issue of arbitrability. In Robinson v. Home Owners Management Enterprises, Inc., No. 18-0504 (Tex. 2019), a couple, the Robinsons, purchased a new home that included a warranty which was administered by Home Owners Management Enterprises, Inc. (“HOME”).  The home-warranty and its addendum included a mandatory binding arbitration provision.  This provision was silent regarding whether the courts…
The United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts has granted a cable company’s motion to compel individual arbitration in a privacy case.  In Wainblat v. Comcast Cable Communications, LLC, et. al., No. 19-cv-10976 (D. Mass., November 4, 2019), a Massachusetts man, Wainblat, purchased a subscription for cable services from Comcast in 2013.  Several years later, the man filed a putative class action lawsuit against the cable company in federal court.  In his…
California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a law that prohibits employers in the state from requiring workers to sign a mandatory arbitration provision as a condition of employment.  AB 51 mandates that an “employer shall not threaten, retaliate or discriminate against, or terminate any applicant for employment or any employee because of the refusal to consent to the waiver of any right, forum, or procedure for a violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing…
Sinta Dewi, Padjadjaran University Faculty of Law, Robert Walters of Victoria University, Leon Trakman, University of New South Wales Faculty of Law, and Bruno Zeller, University of Western Australia Faculty of Law, have jointly published a timely journal article titled, “The Role of International Mediation in Data Protection and Privacy Law – Can It be Effective?” (2019) 30 Australian Dispute Resolution Journal 61; UNSW Law Research Paper No. 19-77.  In their…