In an opinion Monday, Judge Rakoff refused to vacate an antitrust arbitration ruling in Uber’s favor, even though the arbitrator joked at one point: “I must say I act out of fear. My fear is if I ruled Uber illegal, I would need security. I wouldn’t be able to walk the streets at night. People would be after me.”

Judge Rakoff found this was merely a poor attempt at humor by an arbitrator that had better jokes on other occasions in the case (e.g., “ARBITRATOR: I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but when surge prices go on, I check Lyft. [KALANICK]: That’s fair.”):
Continue Reading Judge Rakoff: Arbitrator’s Joke About “Fearing” Uber Does Not Justify Vacating Award

In an opinion Monday, Judge Vyskocil denied a motion to force a partnership dispute over a medical practice to be arbitrated in a Jewish court (referred to in the opinion as either a “beis din” or “beth din”).  The plaintiffs’ complaint alleged that the plaintiffs were “religiously bound to bring their dispute in the first instance to a Beis Din” but were only pursing their claims in the district court “until such time as Defendants comply with the hazmanah,” the equivalent of a summons.

The defendants agreed that the parties were bound to bring their case before a Jewish court, but what has kept the case in the Southern District was the parties’ inability to agree as to which Jewish court should hear the case.  Absent consensus on that point, Judge Vyskocil ruled, there was no binding arbitration agreement under New York law:
Continue Reading Judge Vyskocil: New York Law, Not Jewish Law, Governs Whether Parties Agreed to Resolve Their Dispute Before Jewish Court

In an opinion today in the Uber antitrust case, which was on remand from the Second Circuit (see our prior coverage here), Judge Rakoff sent the case to arbitration based on the “Terms of Service” within Uber’s phone application.  Before doing so, however, he complained of having to enforce terms that “everyone recognizes” are “totally coerced”:
Continue Reading Judge Rakoff Bemoans “Factual and Legal Fictions” Underlying Enforcement of Consumer Arbitration Clauses

As part of the ongoing Uber antitrust litigation, the Second Circuit yesterday reversed Judge Rakoff’s earlier ruling that the arbitration clause in Uber’s terms of service was not enforceable (see our previous coverage of Judge Rakoff’s decision here, and the interlocutory appeal here).

Continue Reading Second Circuit Reverses Judge Rakoff, Finds Uber Arbitration Clause is Enforceable

In an opinion today, Judge Rakoff denied a motion to compel arbitration of antitrust claims against Uber’s CEO because he found that the arbitration clause was too concealed for the plaintiff to have reasonably agreed to it.  (See our prior posts on the case here.)

When a user enters his or her credit card information, there is a button that says “Register,” and below that, in a “barely legible” font, it says:  “By creating an Uber account you agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.”  The phrase “Terms of Service” is a hyperlink to terms that include a mandatory arbitration clause.

Judge Rakoff acknowledged that there is extensive case law upholding arbitration agreements when users must click a button stating “I agree” to the terms of use (so called “clickwrap” agreements), but found that the facts here were towards the other end of the spectrum, where the clauses are not enforceable:
Continue Reading Judge Rakoff Rules That Uber’s Customer Arbitration Clause Is Not Conspicuous Enough to Be Enforceable

Yesterday — just hours after Judge Rakoff ordered broad discovery from Uber and its in-house counsel regarding potentially improper investigative techniques —  Uber’s CEO moved to compel arbitration in the antitrust class action brought by Uber riders (see previous coverage here).  The motion argues that the CEO, as an employee of Uber, is entitled to assert Uber’s arbitration clause in the terms and conditions that each rider agreed to.  The motion also argues that the arbitrator, and not Judge Rakoff, should decide the question of arbitrability in the first instance.

Continue Reading On Heels of Inquiry Into Potential Litigation Misconduct, Uber CEO Moves to Have Case Heard in Arbitration

In a decision today, the Second Circuit, by a 2-1 vote, reversed Judge Berman’s ruling in the DeflateGate case, effectively reinstating Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for his role in deflating footballs used during the 2015 AFC Championship Game.

Tom Brady and the NFL Player’s Association focused their appeal on the fact that, based on the NFL’s written policies, Brady had no prior notice that a first-time violation could result in anything more than a fine, but the Second found that the NFL’s reading of those policies was justifiable, and met the minimal standards for confirming an arbitration award:
Continue Reading Second Circuit Sides With NFL in DeflateGate Appeal