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September 15, 2020

9th Circuit panel ‘unsympathetic’ to Postmates’ claims over mass arbitration

Last week, Keller Lenkner Partner Warren Postman argued in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on behalf of more than 5,000 Postmates couriers. Our clients seek to have their claims against the company heard in individual arbitrations.

Circuit Judge Paul Watford told a lawyer for Postmates Inc that those 5,000 couriers “didn’t do anything wrong” by simultaneously filing claims in individual arbitration that they were misclassified as independent contractors.

Theane Evangelis of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, who represents the on-demand courier service, told a three-judge panel during oral arguments conducted via Zoom that the couriers’ lawyers at Keller Lenkner were subverting a class-action waiver the workers had signed by bringing the cases in a concerted fashion. But Watford said the couriers’ lawyers were not parties to the arbitration agreement containing the waiver, and the workers were merely invoking the procedures imposed upon them by the company.

To watch the argument at the Ninth Circuit:

Read more about the appellate hearing against Postmates: article by Ross Todd:
Reuters article by Dan Wiessner: