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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Collective Actions and Joinder of Parties in Arbitration

"Collective Actions and Joinder of Parties in Arbitration: Implications of DR Horton and Concepcion"

by UC Irvine Law Professor Catherine Fisk

Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law, Vol. 35, No. 1, 2014, Forthcoming

Professor Fisk argues that employment agreements "to arbitrate individually are unenforceable under the National Labor Relations Act and the Norris LaGuardia Act."  She argues that such agreements are not covered by the Supreme Court’s reasoning in Concepcion and Italian Colors to the extent they prohibit joinder of fewer parties than would be required to bring a large class action and, therefore, remain protected by labor law.

Professor Fisk's article criticizes the Fifth Circuit’s Horton case and questions the practical wisdom of agreements requiring employees to pursue claims only as individuals. "State and federal courts universally allow liberal joinder of plaintiffs and defendants because it is more efficient and avoids some truly thorny issues about the preclusive effect of judgments."

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