Richards v. Ernst & Young, LLP

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Arbitration
  • Date Filed: 08-21-2013
  • Case #: 11-17530
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Per Curiam: Circuit Judges Schroeder, Ripple, and Callahan
  • Full Text Opinion

Because “waiver of a contractual right to arbitration is not favored,” and, therefore, “any party arguing waiver of arbitration bears a heavy burden of proof,” including the establishment of prejudice as a result of an alleged delay in the assertion of arbitration rights.

Michelle Richards filed a state wage and hour claim against her former employer Ernst & Young, LLP. The district court denied Ernst & Young's motion to compel arbitration because it had effectively waived its contractual right by failing to assert it in an action with two other former employees that was later consolidated with that of Richards. The Ninth Circuit determined that because “waiver of a contractual right to arbitration is not favored,” and, therefore, “any party arguing waiver of arbitration bears a heavy burden of proof,” Richards did not establish prejudice "as a result of Ernst & Young's alleged delay in asserting arbitral rights." REVERSED.

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