Law360 Publishes Akin Gump Article on 11th Circuit Arbitration Ruling

Law360 has published the article “Waffle House Arbitration Ruling May Reach Past 11th Circ.,” written by Akin Gump litigation partner Neal Marder, senior counsel Alex Stolyar and associate Kelly Handschumacher. The article discusses a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Jones v. Waffle House Inc. that overturned a lower court’s decision to keep an employee background check class action out of arbitration.

The authors write that the impact of the decision may be far-reaching, having significantly widened the circuit split on the “wholly groundless” exception, “which allows an inquiry as to whether the assertion of arbitrability is ‘wholly groundless’ even where said threshold issue was expressly delegated by the parties to the arbitrator(s).” The ruling, they note, has also added “persuasive authority that could sway undecided circuits, including the Ninth Circuit, to join in rejecting that exception.”

Marder, Stolyar and Handschumacher observe that it is now more likely “that motions to compel arbitration will be granted where the parties have clearly delegated threshold ‘arbitrability’ issues to the arbitrators.” They also feel that, given the growing split among the circuits, the “wholly groundless” exception could soon make its way to the Supreme Court.

To read the full article, please click here.