This week, Washington Legal Foundation introduced a new publication format, On the Merits, which will enhance WLF’s ability to communicate our public interest perspective.  This publication can be downloaded here.

Authored by leading practitioners and legal experts, On the Merits is a concise, timely, and substantive analysis of important pending litigation.  WLF will distribute each edition of On the Merits to major print and electronic media, judges, the public, government officials, law professors and students, and business leaders.

The format takes the innovative approach of offering distinct and opposing views of pending litigation through majority and dissenting “opinions.”

WLF’s first On the Merits focuses on an important arbitration case that will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on November 9, AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion.  The case requires the Court to decide whether the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempts states from nullifying an arbitration agreement on the grounds that an agreement not to proceed as part of a class is “unconscionable” and therefore unenforceable.

Jerrold Ganzfried, chairman of the appellate practice group at Howrey LLP, explains in our majority opinion why, consistent with the overriding federal policy favoring arbitration as an alternative method of dispute resolution, state law is preempted by the FAA.   Mr. Ganzfried elaborated on his thoughts about AT&T Mobility at WLF’s annual Supreme Court Preview briefing on September 16, which can be viewed here.

Offering a dissenting view, Scott Nelson, a staff attorney with the Public Citizen Litigation Group, argues that states are entitled in the first instance to decide which agreements are enforceable, irrespective of the FAA.

We invite readers of The Legal Pulse to suggest important pending court cases and expert participants to be featured in future editions of On the Merits.