Supreme Court Upholds Contractual Provision Prohibiting Class-Wide Arbitration

supreme courtThe U.S. Supreme Court issue a highly anticipated ruling this morning in American Express v. Italian Colors Restaurant. A five-justice majority ruled that the Federal Arbitration Act anticipates that courts must enforce arbitration contracts according to their terms, and concerns that the cost of individually arbitrating a federal statutory claim exceeds the potential recovery do not invalidate a contract’s class arbitration waiver.

Justice Scalia’s opinion closely tracks the rationale offered by the “majority opinion” in Washington Legal Foundation’s February 27 On The Merits publication. Mary-Christine Sungaila of the law firm Snell & Wilmer L.L.P. authored the prevailing opinion for WLF’s publication; Public Citizen litigation attorney Scott Nelson penned the dissent.