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Weekly Caselaw Updates

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PG Publishing v. The Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh

The Third Circuit affirmed the District Court’s dismissal of PG Publishing’s complaint to vacate a labor arbitration award. The complaint invoked the Labor Management Relations Act (“LMRA”) and the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”). PG argued that even if it filed its complaint outside of the applicable limitations period for an…

PG Publishing v. The Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh
3rd Circuit

The Third Circuit affirmed the District Court’s dismissal of PG Publishing’s complaint to vacate a labor arbitration award. The complaint invoked the Labor Management Relations Act (“LMRA”) and the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”). PG argued that even if it filed its complaint outside of the applicable limitations period for an LMRA action, it filed within… Continue reading PG Publishing v. The Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh

CPR Mgmt., S.A. v. Devon Park Bioventures, L.P.
3rd Circuit

The Third Circuit found itself at the tail end of arbitration and litigation that spanned multiple countries, at least three state courts, and the federal courts. Deutsche Bank loaned money to a company, and that company used the money to partner with and acquire the defendant. But when Deutsche Bank issued margin calls on the… Continue reading CPR Mgmt., S.A. v. Devon Park Bioventures, L.P.

P&A Constr. v. Int’l Union of Operating Eng’r
3rd Circuit

The Third Circuit addressed an atypical situation and weighed in on an open question: Does the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA) authorize a district court to compel joint arbitration between an employer and two separate labor unions, each of which has a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the common employer when those unions claim the… Continue reading P&A Constr. v. Int’l Union of Operating Eng’r

Amazon.com Serv., Inc. v. Harper
3rd Circuit

A three-judge panel of the Third Circuit issued three opinions while trying to determine the route to follow when reconciling principles of federalism with the question of whether the Federal Arbitration Agreement (“FAA”) applied. Judges Matey (writing the opinion of the court), Matey (concurring), and Shwartz (dissenting) each issued engaging and thoughtful opinions on an… Continue reading Amazon.com Serv., Inc. v. Harper

Verizon Pa., LLC v. Commc’n Workers of Am.
3rd Circuit

The Third Circuit ruled that the functus officio doctrine is alive and well. That doctrine prohibits arbitrators from revisiting their decisions without the parties’ consent. Union Verizon employees brought a grievance against their employer because Verizon altered their options for customers who wanted a new set-top box. Previously, the only option was for union employees… Continue reading Verizon Pa., LLC v. Commc’n Workers of Am.

Humphry v. Glaxosmithkline PLC
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court heard an appeal that reads more like an international espionage novel than a court case. However, the dispute ended up being a somewhat routine disagreement about compulsory arbitration. The facts include a pharmaceutical company hiring another company to dig up dirt on a whistleblower. The pharmaceutical company did not mention that… Continue reading Humphry v. Glaxosmithkline PLC

Indep. Lab. Emp. Union, Inc. v. ExxonMobil Res. and Eng’g Co.
3rd Circuit

This labor dispute arose when a bargaining unit member retired. After advertising internally failed to fill the position, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company (“EMRE”) contracted independent contractors to staff the position. Shortly after that, Indep. Lab. Emp. Union, Inc. filed a grievance regarding the propriety of EMRE contracting out bargaining unit positions in this way.… Continue reading Indep. Lab. Emp. Union, Inc. v. ExxonMobil Res. and Eng’g Co.

Pami Realty, LLC v. Locations XIX Inc.
New Jersey Appellate Division

Two parties to a construction contract dispute went to arbitration. As arbitration progressed, the arbitrator engaged in settlement negotiations with the parties.  None of this was reduced to writing at the time. The negotiations were not fruitful. Later, the arbitrator told the parties that he would render a defendant-favorable opinion imminently. Only then did the… Continue reading Pami Realty, LLC v. Locations XIX Inc.

Wollen v. Gulf Stream Restoration and Cleaning, LLC
New Jersey Appellate Division

In this appeal, the New Jersey Appellate Division considered an internet-based company’s method of communicating its terms and conditions in the arena of online consumer contracts. At issue was the validity of an arbitration provision embedded in those terms and conditions that “could” be accessed via a hyperlink before the plaintiff submitted her request for… Continue reading Wollen v. Gulf Stream Restoration and Cleaning, LLC

Borough of Carteret v. Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Ass’n, Local 67
New Jersey Supreme Court

In this case, the New Jersey Supreme Court considered whether an arbitrator’s interpretation of a labor agreement was “reasonably debatable” and should have been upheld on appeal. In 2011, the Borough of Carteret and the Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association, Local 67 (FMBA) executed a collectively negotiated agreement (CNA) governing the terms and conditions of employment… Continue reading Borough of Carteret v. Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Ass’n, Local 67