Jess Davis

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A significant recent decision by the Fourth Circuit confirms that arbitration agreements that contain class-action waiver provisions can be a powerful tool to defeat class certification.  In In re Marriott International, Inc., the Fourth Circuit observed that while “no court has had occasion to expressly hold as much,” the “consensus practice” of courts is to “resolve the import of waivers at the certification stage—before they certify a class, and usually as the first order of business.”  2023 WL 5313006, at *6 (4th Cir. Aug. 18, 2023).  The Fourth Circuit held that courts must address the implication of an arbitration clause containing a class-action waiver before, not after, a class is certified.  And because the district court in this case did not do so, the Fourth Circuit vacated the district court’s class certification ruling.  Id. at *1.Continue Reading Fourth Circuit Holds that the Enforceability of Arbitration Agreements Containing Class Waivers Must Be Resolved Before Class Certification