Incorporating Arbitration Agreements By Reference

In recent months, three federal circuit courts have confronted this question: can a defendant compel arbitration even in the absence of a signed written agreement containing an arbitration clause? The answers were yes, no, and maybe, but the analysis in all three turns on whether the party resisting arbitration should reasonably have known that an arbitration clause was part of the deal.

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The Special Master: A Mediator Wearing Many Hats

The more complex our society becomes, the more complicated its litigation grows. By 2018, one-half of the federal docket was consumed by multi-district litigation — multiple cases concerning the same subject spread across the country. Add to that mass-tort litigation, class actions, products liability cases, multiparty construction litigation, and the flood of “normal” civil and criminal cases, and it’s clear our judiciary needs help. One source of that help is special masters appointed under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 53.

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Arbitrating in the Age of Zoom

The new norm of social distancing, and a recent decision out of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, are changing the way arbitration are conducted. Now is the time to update the arbitration provisions in your contracts to take advantage of these changes the next time you have to arbitrate a dispute.

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