McGuireWoods Authors Preview Supreme Court Action on Class Arbitration

October 1, 2020

In a Sept. 21, 2020, article in Law360, McGuireWoods partners Diane Flannery and Bethany Lukitsch and associates Andrew Gann and Kamran Ahmadian examined the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court could solidify the demise of class arbitration in its upcoming term.

The authors provided an overview of two recent appellate rulings on the issue — Jock v. Sterling Jewelers Inc. in the 2nd Circuit and Shivkov v. Artex Risk Solutions Inc. in the 9th Circuit. Those opinions, they wrote, “exemplify how two interrelated and important inquiries have arguably rescued, albeit temporarily, class arbitration from extinction: (1) Whether the availability of class arbitration is a so-called question of arbitrability that should normally be decided by the court; and (2) if the question of arbitrability is decided by the arbitrator, whether the court should give deference to that decision.”

“We anticipate that the Supreme Court will address both this term and continue its trend to extinguish class arbitration once and for all,” they wrote.

Flannery chairs McGuireWoods’ Products, Environmental & Mass Tort Litigation Department and Lukitsch co-chairs the firm’s class action practice. Gann is an associate in the Products, Environmental & Mass Tort Litigation Department and Ahmadian is an associate in the Antitrust, Trade & Commercial Litigation Department.

The widely read SCOTUSblog included the article in a Sept. 24 roundup of articles previewing the upcoming Supreme Court term, which begins Oct. 5.