Justice Elena Kagan capped her 9-0 outing in Bowman v. Monsanto Co., No. 11-796 (U.S. May 12, 2013) (post here), with another unanimous ruling in Oxford Health Plans LLC v. Sutter, No. 12-135 (U.S. June 10, 2013). She sure can write.
The Court held that the federal Arbitration Act required it to respect an arbitrator's decision to handle Dr. Sutter's claims against Oxford Health Plans as representative claims on behalf of all Garden State doctors whom Oxford Health shorted on their fee-for-service pay. Because the arbitrator tied his ruling to the parties' contract, the Court reasoned, the FAA barred second-guessing him on whether or not the parties agreed to permit class arbitration.
Justice Kagan wrote that Stolt-Nielsen S. A. v. AnimalFeeds Int'l Corp., 559 U.S. 662 (2010), didn't compel a different outcome. She noted that the parties there stipulated that nothing in their contract shed light on whether or not they agreed to allow arbitration on a non-individual (class) basis. And that meant the arbitrators couldn't possibly have based their ruling (in favor of class treatment) on the parties' contracting intent.
[By the way note: Blawgletter reached the fourth day of trial in a patent case today. Expect spotty posting over the next week or two.]