U.S. Supreme Court Rules "Judge Alex" Must Arbitrate
February 20, 2008
WASHINGTON -- Alex "Judge Alex" Ferrer lost his case at the Supreme Court today when the justices ruled that the star of the syndicated TV show must go before an arbitrator to resolve his agent/manager's claim to 12% of his earnings.
In an 8-1 ruling, the high Court rejected the notion that there was a special rule for the entertainment industry in California that allowed actors to bypass arbitration. Instead, the Court said those who signed contracts agreeing to arbitrate must honor that deal and go to arbitration.
"We hold today that when parties agree to arbitrate, all questions arising under a contract, state laws lodging primary jurisdiction in another forum, whether judicial or administrative, are superseded by the FAA," Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said.
"Now the dispute goes back to where it should have been from the beginning," Arnold Preston, Ferrer's talent agent, said. "This case is a good example of why arbitration is favored. You don't have all this drawn-out litigation."
This case reaffirms the strong federal policy favoring arbitration as a cost-effective and expeditious alternative to court.
Interesting Note: Ironically, Judge Alex is really an arbitrator on his TV show. Few people realize that all the popular courtroom TV shows are really arbitrations and not real courtroom trials. It is all perfectly legitimate and disclosed in the closing credits for each show. Click here for a list of » courtroom TV shows and the arbitrators who play judges on them, including Judge Alex.