Supreme Court clears most remaining obstacles to enforcing individual arbitration agreements

The court upholds the preeminence of the FAA in American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant eliminated the last significant obstacle to the adoption by businesses of fair arbitration programs that reduce high transaction costs associated with class action litigation—including large legal fees for both plaintiffs’ and defense lawyers—while affording consumers and employees an inexpensive and realistic way to pursue their own disputes. 

In AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, the Supreme Court held that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) prohibits courts from refusing to enforce arbitration agreements on the ground that they do not provide for class actions. American Express takes the next step, holding unequivocally that Concepcion’s interpretation of the FAA applies to claims under federal law as well. As the court put it:  “Truth to tell, our decision in AT&T Mobility all but resolves this case.”

Contributing Author

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Andrew Pincus

Andrew Pincus is a partner in Mayer Brown’s Supreme Court and Appellate practice. He focuses his practice on briefing and arguing cases in the Supreme...

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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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