20/20 Communications, Inc. v. Crawford, No. 18-10260 (5th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Class arbitration is a "gateway" issue that must be decided by courts, not arbitrators—absent clear and unmistakable language in the arbitration clause to the contrary. In this case, there was no such contrary language. Rather, the arbitration permitted individual arbitration only and it explicitly prohibited arbitrators from commencing class arbitration to the maximum extent permitted by law. The court held that this language, at best, was in substantial tension with the notion that the parties authorized the arbitrator to decide the gateway issue of class arbitration. Accordingly, the court held that courts, not arbitrators, must decide the gateway issue of class arbitration presented here and therefore remanded for further proceedings.