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Jay-Z’s ADR Problems: Mogul’s Case Spotlights Lack of Diverse Arbitrators - Alternative Dispute Resolution News

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Alternative Dispute Resolution News


Posted on: Jul 3, 2019

From the ABA Journal:

The lack of diversity in arbitration and mediation has drawn increasing attention in legal circles, but it took someone with a huge audience and a lot of money at stake to propel the issue into the headlines.

In a dispute stemming from the $200 million sale of his clothing line, rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z (whose real name is Shawn Carter) in November challenged an arbitration clause as discriminatory, stating it would force him to select an arbitrator from a list nearly devoid of his ethnic group. Only three of 200 arbitrators on the large and complex case roster provided by the American Arbitration Association identified themselves as African-American, and one of them had a conflict, he argued.

Jay-Z recently reached a compromise with the AAA, which offered him additional African-American arbitrators to choose from and expressed willingness to implement other means of improving diverse representation in future arbitrations. The wider controversy, however, is far from over.

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