Tuesday, May 3, 2011
As the dust settles from the Supreme Court’s decision in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, the Court has granted certiorari in another arbitration case. CompuCredit Corp. v. Greenwood (No. 10-948) presents the question: "Whether claims arising under the Credit Repair Organizations Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1679 et seq., are subject to arbitration pursuant to a valid arbitration agreement."
This somewhat innocuous-sounding question masks an interesting issue of statutory interpretation. As the Ninth Circuit’s decision below puts it:
This appeal presents the question, inter alia, as to whether the word “sue,” as used in the Credit Repair Organization Act, means “arbitrate.” Or, perhaps the question is, as Alice put it: “whether you can make words mean so many different things?” We conclude that Congress meant what it said in using the term “sue,” and that it did not mean “arbitrate.”
Greenwood v. CompuCredit Corp., 615 F.3d 1204, 1205 (footnote omitted) (quoting Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, in The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition 213 (Martin Gardner ed., Norton Publishers) (2000)).