Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

6/21/13: Rounding up the Amex Coverage

Below is the CPR Institute's roundup of coverage of yesterday's U.S. Supreme Court class arbitration decision, American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant, No. 12–133 (June 20, 2012)(available here).

A 5-3 opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia held, “The FAA does not permit courts to invalidate a contractual waiver of class arbitration on the ground that the plaintiff’s cost of individually arbitrating a federal statutory claim exceeds the potential recovery.”

That means that the original plaintiffs--restaurants and merchants--in an antitrust case against American Express over the charge card's merchant fees will have to arbitrate their cases individually, rather than as a class.

The class arbitration area is controversial for both business and consumer interests, who respectively, lauded and vilified the decision.  You'll see both sides below.

The CPR Institute's coverage of the opinion appears here, and analysis of the dissent here.

The starting place for the roundups is Supreme Court watcher Scotusblog, which collected articles, include the CPR Institute's, here, and provided analysis on the spot yesterday, as well as this morning.

LexisNexis Co.'s Law 360 coverage is by subscription only, beginning here, but also included these CPR comments:

Russ Bleemer, International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution
"In today's decision, the court continued its strong support for individual arbitration, and  expanded its views strongly disfavoring class processes. And it may have set the stage for corrective legislation. Also, the court may have previewed its view on a significant remaining category of arbitration class actions likely coming next term, in the employment area. [Justice Elena Kagan's] dissent notes that the opinion disallows plaintiffs' cost-sharing, even outside of formal class processes. One of the employer's justifications in a pending Fifth Circuit case for allowing its workplace class arbitration waiver is that workers may act concertedly to put on their cases."

* * *
Here is more coverage from around the web:

"The Problem with the Supreme Court’s AmEx Decision, Class Action, and You"

The Atlantic Wire

"How the Supreme Court’s Decision on American Express and Class Actions Could Affect You"

Business Insider

"Supreme Court Stops Class-Action Suit v. American Express"

Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

"Court Rules for Amex in Dispute with Merchants"

U.S. News and World Report

"Supreme Court Blocks Class-Action Against American Express"

Los Angeles Times,0,5291251.story

"Justices Support Corporate Arbitration"

New York Times

"Class-Action Lawyers Lose Big at Supreme Court with American Express Case"


"Supreme Court Makes it Harder to Bring Class-Action Lawsuits"

Washington Post

"Supreme Court sides with American Express on Arbitration"

Washington Post

* * *

Here are a variety of commentaries and opinions:

"American Express v. Italian Colors: Arbitration Waiver of Class Actions" (This article supports Justice Scalia's majority opinion.)

"Worst Supreme Court Arbitration Decision Ever"

Paul Bland on Public Justice's website

"Case Update: American Express v. Italian Colors"

ABZ Law; employment law blog by Adam Zimmerman

(This employment lawyer discusses the effect this case will have on employer/employee relations and the deleterious effect it will have on employment and civil rights.)

 "About the High Court Becoming a ‘Wholly Owned Subsidiary’ of Big Business, Read its Latest Opinion"

American Constitution Society for Law and Policy

"Supreme Court Rules Class Action Waivers are Enforceable- Even if the Cost of Individual Litigation is Too High"

Ogletree Deakins (which represents D.R Horton in a key employment class arbitration waiver case now pending before the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals)

"SCOTUS Says 'Tough Luck' to Plaintiffs Whose Claims are Too Pricey to Prove in Individual Arbitrations"

Arbitration Nation

"American Express v. Italian Colors"

Point of

"U.S. Chamber Commends Supreme Court for Preserving Availability of Arbitration to Consumers and Businesses"

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

"SCOTUS Decides Corporations can Grant Themselves a License to Steal and violate the Law"

American Association for Justice

"AmEx v. Italian Colors: What Will it Mean for Arbitration"


"What Hope Remains for Consumers, Employees after SCOTUS Amex Ruling?"

Reuters-Alison Frankel's column