Supreme Court seems likely to support individual arbitration in AmEx antitrust class action

The justices will decide by late June whether agreements that require individualized arbitration over class actions are enforceable

A few weeks ago, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant, the most important arbitration case before the court since AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion was decided nearly two years ago. The issue in American Express is whether plaintiffs may avoid arbitration agreements that require individualized rather than class arbitration, by arguing that they cannot “effectively vindicate” their federal claims—here, under the antitrust laws—without the use of class proceedings.  

From the justices’ questioning at oral argument, it seems likely that a majority of the court will conclude that the answer is “no,” and accordingly that the 2nd Circuit’s ruling that American Express’s arbitration provision is unenforceable because it precludes class actions cannot stand.

Contributing Author

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Archis Parasharami

Archis Parasharami is a co-chair of Mayer Brown LLP’s Consumer Litigation & Class Actions practice. He is also a co-editor of the firm’s

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