U.S. Supreme Court

Case Status


Docket Number



2012 Term

Oral Argument Date

March 25, 2013

Lower Court Opinion

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit


Questions Presented

Whether an arbitrator acts within his powers under the Federal Arbitration Act (as the Second and Third Circuits have held) or exceeds those powers (as the Fifth Circuit has held) by determining that parties affirmatively “agreed to authorize class arbitration,” Stolt-Nielsen, 130 S. Ct. at 1776, based solely on their use of broad contractual language precluding litigation and requiring arbitration of any dispute arising under their contract.

Case Updates


June 10, 2013

The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Third Circuit holding that the arbitrator's decision survives the limited judicial review provided by the FAA.

U.S. Chamber files amicus brief

January 29, 2013

NCLC urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a decision by the Third Circuit which upheld an arbitrator’s decision to order class arbitration based solely on a clause—essential to any mandatory arbitration agreement—that required the parties to arbitrate rather than litigate all disputes arising from their agreement.

NCLC argued in its amicus brief that the arbitrator's decision conflicts with the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”), as well as recent Supreme Court precedent, including AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion and Stolt-Nielsen S.A. v. AnimalFeeds Int'l Corp. NCLC explains that unlike litigation, private arbitration is purely a matter of consent, not coercion. By agreeing to arbitrate, parties are able to avoid costly and time-consuming litigation by submitting to a streamlined yet fair process based upon the mutual consent of the parties. Compelling parties to resolve disputes through costly, time-consuming, and high-stakes class arbitration, when the parties have not agreed to do so, frustrates the parties’ intent, undermines their agreements, and erodes the benefits offered by arbitration as an alternative to litigation. Imposing class arbitration on parties who have not agreed to that procedure conflicts with the central goal of the FAA: to ensure that arbitration agreements are enforced strictly according to the terms adopted by the parties.

Cert. petition granted

December 07, 2012

U.S. Chamber urges Supreme Court to review class arbitration order

August 21, 2012

Click here to view the Chamber's brief.

Case Documents