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Courtney L. Davenport
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments last week in a class action that took a surprising turn when American Express seemed to change its previous arguments. The case is about whether a class action waiver in an arbitration agreement is enforceable when the plaintiffs’ claims are too small to arbitrate individually, effectively barring them from vindicating their rights. A class of store owners sued Amex, alleging the company violated the Sherman Act by forcing them into a “tying arrangement” that required them to honor all Amex cards, even the more costly ones, if they wanted to accept the charge cards most commonly used by customers.