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Lathrop’s MVA Litigation Blog Post

June 2019

Charlotte Litigation and Transportation Member Tony Lathrop’s blog post titled, “U.S. Supreme Court Said “No” to Class Arbitration in Employment-Related Data Breach Dispute Because Arbitration Agreement Ambiguous on Class Procedures” was published on June 12.

The article

The U.S. Supreme Court issued two 5-4 decisions in as many months regarding class procedures. Lamp Plus, Inc. v. Varela, 587 U. S. ____ (2019) was favorable to corporate defendants by limiting the availability of class arbitration when the arbitration agreement is ambiguous, while Home Depot U.S.A., Inc. v. Jackson, 587 U. S. ____ (2019) favored consumer plaintiffs by preventing third-party counterclaim defendants from removing class actions from state court to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA). Interestingly, Justice Thomas joined the conservative majority (in concurrence) in Lamp Plus and he joined the more liberal Justices in Home Depot, authoring the pro-consumer majority opinion. Lamp Plus is the next in the Stolt-Nielsen S. A. v. AnimalFeeds Int’l Corp., 559 U. S. 662, 686 (2010) line of cases, which have probed the boundaries on plaintiffs’ access to class procedures in the arbitration forum when an arbitration agreement has foreclosed access to any litigation in the courts. The Lamp Plus majority makes plain that corporations cannot be forced to face class arbitration due to ambiguity or silence in an arbitration agreement regarding the availability of class procedures. We discuss Lamp Plus further below and will address Home Depot in a separate post.

To view the entire blog post, click here.