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Ms. Williams’ practice focuses on financial services litigation and bank regulatory compliance, in which she represents some of the nation’s largest financial institutions. Ms. Williams also has experience in insurance litigation, employment litigation, and product liability defense. Ms. Williams practices in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate levels.

Justice Kavanaugh’s first authored opinion as a Supreme Court Justice in Henry Schein, Inc. v. Archer and White Sales, Inc., No. 17-1272, 586 U.S. ____ (2019) further cements the Supreme Court’s stance on arbitration.

Over the years, the Supreme Court has consistently held in favor of arbitration and rejected attempts by parties and the lower courts to ignore binding arbitration clauses. For instance, in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 131 S. Ct. 1740 (April 2011), the Supreme Court rejected state laws that attempted to prohibit arbitration for certain types of claims, holding “[w]hen state law prohibits outright the arbitration of a particular type of claim, the analysis is straightforward: The conflicting rule is displaced by the [Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) 9 U.S.C. § 1 et seq.].” More recently, in Epic System Corp. v. Lewis, 138 S. Ct. 1612 (May 2018), the Supreme Court held that arbitration clauses prohibiting class actions in employment contracts were enforceable and were not preempted by the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”), 29 U.S.C. § 151 et seq.—which guarantees basic rights of private sector employees to take collective action. The Supreme Court reasoned that the FAA and NLRA “have long enjoyed separate spheres of influence . . .” and the FAA is “a Congressional command requiring us to enforce, not override, the terms of the arbitration agreements….” 
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After a highly publicized and controversial confirmation process, the senate voted to approve Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court this past Saturday, October 6, 2018. Kavanaugh was sworn in later that day and began hearing cases on Tuesday, October 9, 2018.

It goes without saying that Justice Kavanaugh is a conservative judge and is expected to lean to the right. It also goes without saying that Justice Kavanaugh’s appointment pushes the Supreme Court to the right with a 5-4 ratio. But what does Justice Kavanaugh’s appointment mean for the financial services industry? 
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Three years ago, the Illinois Supreme Court shook up foreclosure professionals when it affirmed the appellate court in 1010 Lakeshore Ass’n v. Deutsche Bank Nat’l Trust Co., 2015 IL 119372, 398 Ill. Dec. 95, 43 N.E.3d 1005 (“1010 Lakeshore”), to find that a homeowners’ association’s lien for past due assessments owed by the previous owner is not extinguished after a foreclosure sale if the new owner fails to pay foreclosure assessments accruing after foreclosure. The court reasoned that section 9(g)(3) of the Condominium Property Act (which requires a new owner to pay assessments “from and after the day of the month after the date of the judicial foreclosure” and provides that such payment confirms extinguishment of the lien), provided an incentive for “prompt payment” of post-foreclosure assessments.
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Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “CFPB”) released much-anticipated proposed rules for mandatory arbitration clauses, which the CFPB colloquially refers to as “contract gotchas.” The proposed rules follow on the heels of the CFPB’s March 2015 Arbitration Report, which the CFPB concluded demonstrates that mandatory arbitration clauses are detrimental to consumers. As expected, the proposed rules evidence the CFPB’s concerns around mandatory arbitration clauses.

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Real estate lenders and agents struggling with the new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rules will have the opportunity to suggest improvements to the rules this summer. On April 28, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray sent a letter to eight financial industry trade groups stating that the agency intends to propose new amendments in late July 2016 to the rules synthesizing mortgage lending disclosures under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). Issued pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act, the rules are known as the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) rule, also referred to by the CFPB as the Know Before You Owe rules.

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