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Oral Argument to be Held Tomorrow in SCOTUS AT&T Mobility Class Waiver Case

November 8th, 2010 ADR Social Media, Arbitration Agreements, Arbitration Practice and Procedure, Class Action Arbitration, Class Action Waivers, Guest Posts, Practice and Procedure, United States Supreme Court Comments Off on Oral Argument to be Held Tomorrow in SCOTUS AT&T Mobility Class Waiver Case By Philip J. Loree Jr.

The United States Supreme Court will hear oral argument in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, No. 09-893, tomorrow, November 9, 2010.  (Read about the case here, here, here and here.)  If you are interested in reading the transcript, you should be able to access it here by approximately 4:00 p.m. tomorrow.  

Earlier this morning the Disputing blog published the first installment of a multi-part guest post we are writing, entitled “AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion:  Can Discover Bank Withstand Stolt-Nielsen Scrutiny?”  (Read it here.)  Our focus in that post will be how Stolt-Nielsen bears on the Federal Arbitration Act preemption questions before the Court, and in particular, what (if anything) we can glean from the upcoming oral argument about those questions.  

The first installment briefly describes the preemption issues and comments on the uncertainty surrounding implied preemption because of Associate Justice Clarence Thomas’ rejection of that doctrine in his Wyeth v. Levine, 555 U.S. ___, 129 S. Ct. 1187 (2009), concurring opinion, see 129 S. Ct. at 1205 (Thomas, J., concurring), and the deference he accords state law in Federal Arbitration Act cases which (unlike AT&T Mobility) are brought in state court.  See, e.g., Buckeye Check Cashing, Inc. v. Cardegna, 546 US 440 (2006) (Thomas, J., dissenting) (“[I]n state-court proceedings, the FAA cannot be the basis for displacing a state law that prohibits enforcement of an arbitration clause contained in a contract that is unenforceable under state law.”).

The first installment also poses some examples of the types of Stolt-Nielsen-related questions Justices might ask the Concepcions’ counsel at the argument.  It will be interesting to see whether the Court asks questions of this type, and, if so, what the Concepcions have to say in response.     

The number of future installments will depend on what transpires at the argument.  We suspect that there will be at least two.  

We would like to thank Karl Bayer and Beth Graham of the Disputing blog for featuring us as an AT&T Mobility  guest blogger.


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