NT Lakis attorneys have filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court urging the Justices to consider whether a California legal doctrine known as the Armendariz rule – which imposes special requirements on the enforceability of arbitration agreements that do not apply to contracts in general – is preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA).

In Winston & Strawn LLP v. Ramos, a California appeals court reversed a state trial court’s order compelling arbitration, finding that the arbitration agreement in question failed to satisfy Armendariz’s five-factor “minimum requirements.” After the California Supreme Court denied review, Winston & Strawn petitioned the High Court to review and reverse the decision, and our brief supports the firm’s petition.

Our brief argues that California’s Armendariz rule conflicts with the FAA, as it has been interpreted repeatedly by the Supreme Court. In particular, we cite the Court’s decision in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, which heldthat states are not permitted to enforce special rules that apply only to arbitration agreements but not to contracts generally. Because the Armendariz rule sets special rules only with respect to arbitration agreements, we contend that it is preempted by the FAA.

Members of the Center for Workplace Compliance (CWC) can read more here.