Supreme Court to consider forced-arbitration issues in two cases

In December, the Supreme Court granted the petition in Viking River Cruises v. Moriana, which poses the question whether the Federal Arbitration Act requires state courts to enforce a waiver of a statutory right of action to collect penalties on behalf of a state, in violation of neutral principles of state law prohibiting such a waiver, if the waiver is set forth in an arbitration agreement. Over at the Balls and Strikes blog, Adam Cohen discusses a case in a post called The Supreme Court Is Poised to Give Kajillionaire Corporations Another Free Pass. (Note: Public Citizen is co-counsel for the respondent in the case and does not share his pessimism.)

Earlier in the fall, the Court granted for review another case presenting an issue about arbitration: Morgan v. Sundance, Inc. The question in that case is whether a party opposing a motion to compel arbitration is required to show prejudice to prove that the other party waived its right to arbitrate.

Both cases will be argued this spring and decided before the Court’s term ends in late June.

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