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Supreme Court Strikes a Blow to Class-Action Lawsuits

Jaclyn Jaeger | May 10, 2011

Corporate legal offices are celebrating a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that grants companies broad authority to settle disputes through arbitration, rather than costly class-action lawsuits.

The court's decision last month on AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion will have far-reaching implications not only for consumer class-action cases, but potentially for employment and shareholder securities class actions as well. “The decision was a big win for the business community in what may prove to be one of the most important class-action cases in a very long time,” says Vanderbilt University law Professor Brian Fitzpatrick.

The decision also means that the roughly 20 states must now be reconsider their laws that nullify class-action waivers, which are often included in consumer service contracts.

The case stemmed from a 2006 lawsuit, alleging... To get the full story, subscribe now.