First Circuit: Uber Users Did Not Give Unambiguous Assent to Terms of Service

In the defining decision, Cullilane v. Uber Technologies, the First Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a district court’s grant of Uber Technologies’s motion to compel arbitration and dismiss the complaint of a putative class action brought by users of Uber’s ride-sharing service in the Boston area. At issue in the case was the enforceability of an online contract’s arbitration clause. This decision strongly reinforces the notion that online contract processes should be designed, and the information arranged, for consumers and with extreme attention to detail and a focus on clarity of meaning.

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Project Spotlight: Restatement of the Law of International Arbitration Is Close to Completion

Parties to international contracts have long chosen arbitration as the preferred method to resolve disputes; among other reasons, it provides them with a neutral decision-maker, rather than the home courts of either party, and international arbitration awards are more easily enforced than court judgments because of the UN Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (commonly known as the New York Convention), which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. Moreover, a web of more than 3000 bilateral and multilateral investment treaties offers arbitration if an investor believes that the state has violated a promise under that treaty, and the number of such investor-state arbitrations has grown significantly.

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If you don’t know treaties and sovereignty, you don’t know history

There’s a widespread notion that “tribal sovereignty” and “Indian treaties” are legal, historical, practical and correct terms. Actually, sovereignty is sovereignty, and treaties are treaties, nation to nation is between and among sovereigns; the use of “tribal” or “Indian” or any modifier is both misleading and belittling.

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