Ninth Circuit Cites Stone in Key Opinion on Arbitration

October 22, 2019
UCLA School of Law professor Katherine Stone

The scholarship of UCLA School of Law professor Katherine Stone has been cited in an opinion that a panel of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued on Oct. 22, Monster Energy v. City Beverages, involving a contractually mandated arbitration proceeding.

In reversing an arbitration award for “evident partiality” in the arbitrator, the majority held that “arbitrators must disclose their ownership interests, if any, in the arbitration organizations with whom they are affiliated in connection with the proposed arbitration, and those organizations’ nontrivial business dealings with the parties to the arbitration.” The majority relied on Stone’s 1999 North Carolina Law Review article “Rustic Justice: Community and Coercion Under the Federal Arbitration Act” when it wrote that “the proliferation of arbitration clauses in everyday life — including in employment-related disputes, consumer transactions, housing issues, and beyond — means that arbitration will often take place between unequal parties.”

Ninth Circuit Judge Milan Smith wrote the majority opinion, joined by Judge Michael Simon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, who was sitting on the panel by designation. Ninth Circuit Judge Michelle Friedland dissented.

An expert in labor and employment law, Stone is the Arjay and Frances Fearing Miller Distinguished Professor of Law at UCLA Law. She was a member of the faculty at Cornell Law School before joining UCLA Law in 2004. In 2008, Stone was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship Award and a Russell Sage Fellowship for her work on regulation and the changing nature of employment.

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