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January 2022
Welcome and happy new year to readers of Making the Connection!    
In this issue, you will find: 
  • In Focus : The American Arbitration Association adopts rules for multiple case filings
  • Question of the Month, answering a reader's inquiry about ensuring service providers are fully vaccinated
  • Case on Point, discussing refund claims arising from a shift to remote learning
  • At the Podium, listing my speaking engagements and public appearances
  • Client Corner, spotlighting client events and announcements
In Focus
The American Arbitration Association Adopts Rules for Multiple Case Filings
A significant advantage of arbitration is that it allows the parties to negotiate and agree on the procedures for resolving any disputes that may arise between them. However, in many instances, consumer and employment agreements are essentially contracts of adhesion, meaning that there is no meaningful opportunity for consumers or employees to negotiate their terms. In response, the American Arbitration Association adopted fairness protocols to ensure that the arbitrations it administers are essentially fair to consumers and employees.
Those protocols, however, do not address class action waivers. In the court system, the class action mechanism permits a named plaintiff to bring claims on behalf of all similarly situated persons who do not opt out of the class action. This permits economies of scale in resolving legal and factual issues that are identical to all claims of class members. The Supreme Court has ruled that class action waivers in arbitration agreements are enforceable, meaning that claims that might otherwise be filed as class actions, must be filed as individual claims. 
As a result, lawyers for consumers and employees began filing hundreds of nearly identical arbitration claims on behalf of similarly situated claimants. This increased administrative costs and burdens and resulted in multiple duplicative proceedings before different arbitrators, yielding potentially inconsistent results in virtually identical cases. To address this situation, the American Arbitration Associated adopted Supplementary Rules for Multiple Case Filings. These rules promote the consolidation of cases for procedural purposes and envision the assignment of multiple cases to arbitrators or groups of arbitrators.

Question of the Month
This feature answers a reader's question. Please submit proposed questions to lisa@lisapom.com.
This month's question comes from Tina Jones:
Q: How can a customer or patient ensure that they are dealing with a healthcare or other service provider who is vaccinated?

A: An employer must treat an individual employee's vaccination status as confidential medical information.  However, a customer or patient can inquire of the employer about its vaccination policy, or request assurances that they will only be treated or assisted by a vaccinated employee.
Case On Point
In this month's case, the court dismisses refund claims based on a transition to remote learning.
Yodice v. Touro College and University System
(S.D.N.Y. 2021)
Plaintiff, a student in Touro's dental school, sued the university for a refund, claiming that the school breached its agreement to provide in-person instruction.  In dismissing the complaint, the court ruled that there was no specific agreement that the instruction would be provided in-person. The court also dismissed that the transition to remote learning was a deceptive act or practice under applicable New York law, observing "No reasonable consumer would be misled into believing that, in the event of a global pandemic and under government shutdown orders, TCDM would remain open to deliver in-person instruction to students. Multiple courts in this District have come to the same conclusion in a myriad of actions filed against universities following the onset of pandemic, and there is no allegation in the complaint that leads to a different result."
At the Podium
This is a listing of speaking engagements, workshops, events and other public appearances. At the Podium events are listed on the calendar page of my website. A listing of available presentations and workshops is also posted.   To book me as a speaker or facilitator at your next company, client or association function, contact me at lisa@lisapom.com.    
  • I am scheduled to speak at the International Arbitration Symposium sponsored by the Center for International Legal Studies and to be held in Salzburg, Austria from June 2-5, 2022.
Client Corner
Client Corner features client announcements and events of potential interest to readers.  Some Client Corner events are also listed on the calendar page of my website.    

  • Dr. Marc Miller of MLM Coaching and Consulting, LLC was interviewed on Employment Law Today about Emotionally Intelligent Employers - Leading With Awareness. Click here to access the interview.

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© 2022, Lisa Renee Pomerantz. All rights reserved.

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