Professor Linda Mullenix previews American Express class-action appeal before Supreme Court arguments

Professor Linda Mullenix, Morris & Rita Atlas Chair in Advocacy, has written an article in the American Bar Association’s Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases previewing the issues and arguments in American Express Corp. v. Italian Colors Restaurant, et al. (PDF link), for which the Supreme Court will hear arguments on February 27, 2013. This is the fourth class-action appeal on the Court’s docket this term. According to Mullenix, “the respondent retail merchants entered into agreements with petitioner American Express (Amex) detailing how the respondents would accept Amex’s credit and charge cards. Respondents brought a Sherman Antitrust Act lawsuit against Amex, claiming that Amex used its monopoly power to force merchants to accept the agreement. Amex responded that the agreement requires arbitration, but prohibits class-wide arbitration. The Supreme Court must now determine the effect in a federal Sherman Antitrust Act action of an arbitration clause that prohibits classwide arbitration, but where enforcement of the arbitration clause would effectively prevent the plaintiffs from vindicating their rights in the arbitral forum.”

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