News & Noteworthy

Authored - NJ Contract Law Update - Ninth Circuit Weighs In On "Non-Appealable" Arbitration Clauses
MAY 12, 2014 | Windels Marx - Commercial Litigation

In In Re Walmart Wage & Hour Litigation, 2013 BL 349888 (9th Cir. Dec. 17, 2013), the Ninth Circuit weighed in on the issue of whether arbitration clauses can be enforceably "non- appealable" if they say so. This issue was addressed generally in an earlier Article in this series, "Can Parties Agree to Waive the Right to Appeal From an Arbitration Award?" (Jan. 18, 2013).

The Ninth Circuit held that such clauses were not enforceable, because they violate the presumed intent of the Federal Arbitration Act to allow judicial review.

Prior Articles in this series have explained that New Jersey and federal jurisprudence and statutory law are essentially parallel on almost all issues.

Walmart simply adds to the debate as to whether federal and New Jersey State Courts would definitively hold that parties may not agree that arbitration awards are completely non-appealable (or substantively not appealable--but appealable as to arbitrator bias or some other variation). This, to the limited extent that New Jersey arbitration awards may be appealed under any circumstances, under Tretina (cited in prior Articles).

Contact & Legal Disclaimer

Clark Alpert is the author of Guide to New Jersey Contract Law, published by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education and now in its third edition. His updates on New Jersey contract law are based on recent issues and practical methods for addressing similar situations in your practice or business. They are not intended to serve as legal advice. Clark welcomes your questions and comments.

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