Daily Journal Quotes Rex Heinke on Supreme Court Arbitration Case

Rex Heinke, co-head of the Supreme Court and appellate practice at Akin Gump, has been quoted in the Daily Journal article “Close vote expected as high court considers arbitration,” regarding three cases heard by the Supreme Court last month pertaining to whether employers could require workers to forego class action and take employment complaints to individual arbitration. Heinke has argued the issue twice before federal appellate panels on behalf of mandatory arbitration clauses for Ernst & Young LLP.

Heinke said Justice Anthony Kennedy, as usual, is likely to be the swing vote in the matter, a consolidation of three separate cases to resolve a circuit court split. “The liberals [on the Supreme Court] just seem to think the [National Labor Relations Act] made the kind of agreements here illegal as barring concerted action,” said Heinke. The Court’s conservatives had the opposite view. Kennedy, he noted, might seek a middle ground in which the rules would be changed to allow employees to band together not in a conventional class action but where they could use the same lawyer to pursue their claims in individual arbitration proceedings.

Heinke added, “'I’m reading the tea leaves here, but [Kennedy] has been in the middle for decades.”