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Contract Law

Class Action in Consumer Finance Agreements

Litigation Practice Group Teleforum Monday, July 25, 02:00 PMFederalist Society Teleforum Conference Call

The Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), passed in 1925, generally requires courts to look favorably upon all arbitration agreements. In 2011, the Supreme Court upheld an arbitration agreement in a contract for mobile phone services that contained a class action ban. The court ruled that a state law that prevented the class action ban from being enforced was “an obstacle to the accomplishment of the FAA’s objectives.”

However, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010, which authorizes the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to study arbitration agreements in consumer contracts and limit or prohibit them if doing so would be in the public interest and for the protection of consumers. In May 2016, the CFPB issued a proposed rule that would ban arbitration agreements that acted to prevent class action lawsuits and would further establish certain reporting requirements for other arbitrations that are filed between consumers and providers.

Our experts will discuss this proposed rule, including the history that led us to this point and the potential impact it will have if it is finalized.

Featuring:

  • Thaddeus King, Officer, Consumer Banking,The Pew Charitable Trusts
  • Prof. Todd J. Zywicki, Foundation Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law

The Future of Arbitration Agreements after the CFPB Study - Podcast

Litigation Practice Group Teleforum
Deepak Gupta, Andrew J. Pincus July 17, 2015

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 instructs the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to study “the use of agreements providing for arbitration of any future dispute . . . in connection with the offering or providing of consumer financial products or services,” and to provide a report to Congress on the same topic.  This past March, the CFPB issued its study, pursuant to the statutory requirement.  Is the “arbitration study” an anti-arbitration study?  Our experts discussed the report and its implications.

  • Mr. Deepak Gupta, Founding Principal, Gupta Wessler PLLC
  • Mr. Andrew J. Pincus, Partner, Mayer Brown LLP

M&G Polymers USA v. Tackett - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 4-23-15 featuring Michael DeBoer
Michael DeBoer April 23, 2015

On January 26, 2015, the Supreme Court issued its decision in M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett. The issue in this case is whether, when courts interpret collective bargaining agreements in Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA) cases, they should assume that silence concerning the duration of retiree health-care benefits means the parties intended those benefits to vest (and therefore continue indefinitely), or should require that it be stated explicitly (or at least stated in some way) that health-care benefits are intended to endure after the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement. 

In an opinion delivered by Justice Thomas, the Court held unanimously that when determining whether retiree benefits should continue indefinitely after the expiration of a collective bargaining agreement, courts should apply ordinary contract principles.  Those principles do not support a presumption that the agreement reflects an intent to vest retirees with lifetime benefits. The judgment of the Sixth Circuit was vacated and the case remanded for further proceedings. Justice Ginsburg filed a concurring opinion, which Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan joined. 

To discuss the case, we have Michael DeBoer, who is an Associate Professor of Law at the Faulkner University School of Law.

Young Legal Scholars Paper Presentations - Event Audio/Video

17th Annual Faculty Conference
William Baude, Charles Korsmo, Minor Myers, Christopher Newman, Christopher J. Walker, Kevin Walsh, James Lindgren, Keith N. Hylton, Richard W. Garnett January 09, 2015

This panel was part of the 17th Annual Federalist Society Faculty Conference held on January 3-4, 2015 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC.

Young Legal Scholars Paper Presentations
2:30-4:30 pm
In Memory of Prof. Dan Markel, Florida State University School of Law, Prawfsblawg Founder, and former Searle fellow

  • Prof. William Baude, University of Chicago Law School, "Is Originalism the Law?"
  • Prof. Charles Korsmo, Case Western University School of Law, "Aggregation by Acquisition: Replacing Class Actions with a Market for Legal Claims"
  • Prof. Minor Myers, Brooklyn Law School, "Aggregation by Acquisition: Replacing Class Actions with a Market for Legal Claims"
  • Prof. Christopher Newman, George Mason University School of Law, "Bailment and the Property/Contract Interface"
  • Prof. Christopher Walker, Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, "Inside Agency Interpretation"
  • Prof. Kevin Walsh, University of Richmond School of Law, "In the Beginning There Was None: Supreme Court Review of State Criminal Prosecutions"
  • Commentor: Prof. James Lindgren, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Commentor: Prof. Keith Hylton, Boston University School of Law
  • Moderator: Prof. Richard Garnett, University of Notre Dame Law School

Washington, DC
January 3, 2015