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Feasibility Of Class Arbitration

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Chapter Summary

While the notion of class arbitration has been a theoretical possibility for many years, class arbitration was not viewed as a device of any prominence until the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2003 in Green Tree Financial Corp. v. Bazzle. It is important to stress that, in Green Tree, the Supreme Court did not fashion a change in the law; it did not hold for the first time that class actions could be brought in the arbitration context. The Supreme Court addressed a narrower question: Given that a case may be submitted to arbitration on behalf of a class, who, as between a court and an arbitrator, has the authority to determine whether an arbitration clause that is silent on the issue permits a case to be submitted on behalf of a class? The Court held that it is for an arbitrator to decide.

Keywords: arbitration clause; arbitrator; class actions; class arbitration; Green Tree Financial Corp. v. Bazzle; U.S. Supreme court



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