President Trump on July 9th nominated Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh of the District of Columbia Circuit to fill the open Supreme Court seat created by the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy. So far, we’ve found several cases – one involving securities arbitration – and based on this very limited sampling, Judge Kavanaugh, who was on […]

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By Christopher G. Lazarini *Class action waivers in employment agreements are enforceable. **FINRA Rule 13204’s prohibition against compelling a member of a certified or putative class to arbitrate may be contractually waived. Laver vs. Credit Suisse Securities (USA), LLC, No. 18-cv-00828 (N.D. Cal., 6/21/18). Of Dispute Resolution and Deferred Compensation Plaintiff is a former financial […]

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By George H. Friedman* SAC Board Member and Contributing Legal Editor [This guest blog post is derived from a feature article by the same name appearing in 2018:3 Securities Arbitration Commentator] In a 5-4 decision split along ideological lines, the Supreme Court on May 21 held in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, No. 16-285, that the […]

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By George H. Friedman* SAC Board Member and Contributing Legal Editor Having already agreed to review two arbitration-centric cases next Term, the Supreme Court on June 25 granted Certiorari in a third case, setting up the first arbitration “trilogy”[1] in over fifty years. This blog post examines the three cases the Court has agreed to […]

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In SAA 2018-24, we identified the four broker-dealers (BDs) with the largest presence in securities arbitration, with special emphasis on their Customer-Member Awards. This week, we finish our survey, turning our attention to their use of counsel. That is to say, we determine how often a given BD relies on its own corporate counsel, or […]

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By Ben Suter The SEC’s administrative law judges are officers subject to the Appointments Clause. Lucia vs. SEC, Dkt. No. 17-130, 2018 U.S. LEXIS 3836 (U.S. Sup. Ct., 6/21/18). In a 6-3 Opinion, the Court reverses the judgment of the Court of Appeals, which upheld the SEC’s order deeming its administrative law judge’s (“ALJ”) decision […]

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By Jill I. Gross * When a party to a purported arbitration agreement claims that the container agreement as a whole was fraudulently induced, that claim is arbitrable. **A customer’s ability to trade in options is sufficient consideration to bind him to an account agreement. Curtis vs. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc., No. […]

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At the end of the first quarter of 2018, FINRA Dispute Resolution was reporting a 37% climb in new filings of customer cases (689 v. 502) and a 58% increase in intra-industry cases (463 v. 293), compared to the same period of 2017. We commented in our review of the March statistical report from FINRA-DR, […]

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By Ben Suter *A clause of a settlement agreement that protects a party against a third party who “successfully asserts” a claim requires more than voluntary settlement of that claim. **There is no rule against pleading unjust enrichment as an alternative cause of action in a complaint alleging breach of contract. Long Beach Securities Corp. […]

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