Jeff Mason is a White House Correspondent for Reuters and the 2016-2017 president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. He was the lead Reuters correspondent for President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign and interviewed the president at the White House in 2015. Jeff has been based in Washington since 2008, when he covered the historic race between Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Jeff started his career in Frankfurt, Germany, where he covered the airline industry before moving to Brussels, Belgium, where he covered the European Union. He is a Colorado native, proud graduate of Northwestern University and former Fulbright scholar.
Twitter handle: @jeffmason1
For employees and their lawyers, the battle over mandatory arbitration clauses is pretty much lost. Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s pro-arbitration rulings, including last June’s Epic Systems v. Lewis (138 S.Ct. 1612), employers have nearly unfettered power to force workers into individual arbitration of their employment disputes.
On Monday morning, six days after Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that he was thinking about taking the company private at $420 a share, with “funding secured” for the transaction, Tesla published a blog post in which Musk clarified his tweet.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last term in Epic Systems v. Lewis (138 S.Ct. 1612) was a great victory for employers. In Epic, you’ll recall, the justices held, in a 5-4 opinion written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, that companies can require employees to waive the right to arbitrate as a group. In combination with Supreme Court precedent backing employers’ power to impose mandatory arbitration provisions to resolve disputes with their workers, the Epic opinion effectively means that companies can force workers to prosecute their claims alone, in a forum selected by the company.
In 2016, after two federal appellate courts upheld forum selection clauses requiring issuers of auction-rate securities to go to court with claims against underwriter Goldman Sachs, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority felt compelled to issue a stern reminder to the banks and brokerages in its membership: When they run into disputes with customers, FINRA said, they’re supposed to use FINRA arbitration to resolve the issues. The industry self-regulator warned its members that their customers can’t sign away their FINRA arbitration rights in forum selection clauses – and insisted that banks and brokerages shouldn’t ask them to.
The folks who sued to stop President Donald Trump from blocking Twitter critics have a new target: Facebook.
A U.S. magistrate judge in Brooklyn has recommended that more than 200 former U.S. soldiers or their survivors be allowed to proceed with allegations that six global financial institutions – HSBC, Credit Suisse, Barclays, Standard Chartered, Royal Bank of Scotland and Commerzbank – conspired with Iran and its proxies to provide material support for terrorism against U.S. armed forces during the Iraq War.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26 decision in Trump v. Hawaii (138 S.Ct. 2392) was a colossal win for President Trump and his Department of Justice. The five justices in the Supreme Court majority upheld President Trump’s modified ban on travel to the U.S. from six predominantly Muslim countries. Under the extremely deferential standard of review for presidential national security decisions, the court held, President Trump had ample justification for the travel ban.
A 70-page ruling Thursday by U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman of Manhattan casts doubt on the rationale U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has offered for asking U.S. residents about their citizenship in the 2020 census.
The chief beneficiaries of sanctionable conduct by a pair of Florida plaintiffs' firms, the Wilner Firm and Farah & Farah, will end up being the firms’ co-counsel in a $100 million settlement of federal-court litigation by Florida smokers, under an order issued Monday by four federal district court judges in Jacksonville, Florida. As part of a global resolution of the sanctions issue and fee disputes, Wilner and the Farah firm agreed to cede more than $7 million in claimed attorneys’ fees to Motley Rice, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein and two other plaintiffs' firms, reducing the payout to Wilner and Farah to only $4.3 million.
You have to give creativity points to Reed Smith, defense counsel for a debt collection outfit called Allied Interstate. After the U.S. Supreme Court and 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stymied Allied’s strategy to end a 2013 Fair Debt Collection Practices Act class action by paying the lead plaintiff his full potential damages, Reed Smith came up with an alternative argument: The plaintiff’s refusal to accept Allied’s offer made him an unsuitable candidate to lead the class action because he’s not a typical class member. His “unique circumstances as the only member of the putative class to have been compensated for his claim have irreparably compromised his role as lead plaintiff in this litigation,” Reed Smith argued in a brief opposing class certification.