by Lorenzo Antonio Hoppe Villegas*

 

The Fed­er­al Arbi­tra­tion Act (“FAA”) allows par­ties to enter into arbi­tra­tion agree­ments that pro­vide “quick­er, more infor­mal, and often cheap­er res­o­lu­tions for every­one involved.”1 The FAA requires courts to treat arbi­tra­tion agree­ments as “valid, irrev­o­ca­ble, and enforce­able.”2 Con­gress sub­se­quent­ly enact­ed 11 U.S.C. § 362 and relat­ed judi­cial code pro­vi­sions (the “Bank­rupt­cy Code”), which halts actions by cred­i­tors against a debtor who has declared bank­rupt­cy. This rais­es the ques­tion of whether arbi­tra­tion agree­ments between a debtor and their cred­i­tors are enforce­able once the debtor has declared bank­rupt­cy and the auto­mat­ic stay is in place.

The plain mean­ing and leg­isla­tive his­to­ry of the Bank­rupt­cy Code demon­strate that Con­gress did not intend to repeal the FAA. There is no evi­dence to sug­gest that Con­gress intend­ed to cre­ate an inher­ent con­flict between the Bank­rupt­cy Code and the FAA, and thus repeal the lat­ter. Even if the exis­tence of an inher­ent con­flict is inde­pen­dent­ly suf­fi­cient grounds to sup­port lim­it­ed implied repeal, enforce­ment of arbi­tra­tion agree­ments is still appro­pri­ate under cer­tain cir­cum­stances. First, the dis­tinc­tion between core and non-core bank­rupt­cy pro­ceed­ings is not dis­pos­i­tive. Sec­ond, the impor­tance of the auto­mat­ic stay to the bank­rupt­cy scheme is, on its own, insuf­fi­cient to cre­ate a con­flict. Third, allow­ing arbi­tra­tion would not nec­es­sar­i­ly jeop­ar­dize the Bank­rupt­cy Code’s objec­tives of pro­vid­ing a “fresh start,” prop­er admin­is­tra­tion of the bank­rupt­cy estate, and pre­serv­ing the col­lec­tive nature of a bank­rupt­cy dispute.

The Supreme Court has inter­pret­ed the con­gres­sion­al man­date of the FAA as cre­at­ing “a lib­er­al fed­er­al pol­i­cy favor­ing arbi­tra­tion agree­ments .…”3  While sub­se­quent con­gres­sion­al action can allow courts to decline to enforce arbi­tra­tion agree­ments, Congress’s inten­tion must be evi­dent from the statute’s text, leg­isla­tive his­to­ry, or an irrec­on­cil­able con­flict between arbi­tra­tion and the sub­se­quent statute.4

* * * * *

The argu­ment that a sub­se­quent statute over­rides the FAA “faces a stout uphill climb.”5 When fac­ing two con­gres­sion­al acts con­cern­ing the same top­ic, the Court must strive “to give effect to both.”6 A con­trary con­gres­sion­al com­mand may over­ride the FAA’s man­date to enforce arbi­tra­tion agree­ments.7 How­ev­er, when eval­u­at­ing a claimed con­flict, the Court must come armed with “the ‘stron[g] presum[ption]’ that repeals by impli­ca­tion are ‘dis­fa­vored’ and that ‘Con­gress will specif­i­cal­ly address’ pre­ex­ist­ing law when it wish­es to sus­pend its nor­mal oper­a­tions in a lat­er statute.”8 This com­mand “will be deducible from [the statute’s] text or leg­isla­tive his­to­ry . . . or from an inher­ent con­flict between arbi­tra­tion and the statute’s under­ly­ing pur­pos­es.”9

Look­ing first to the statute’s text, there is no men­tion of the FAA any­where in the Bank­rupt­cy Code. The word “arbi­tra­tion” does not appear once in the Bank­rupt­cy Code. Addi­tion­al­ly, the leg­isla­tive his­to­ry of the Bank­rupt­cy Code makes only a sin­gle pass­ing ref­er­ence to arbi­tra­tion.10  Even though leg­isla­tive his­to­ry can poten­tial­ly “illu­mi­nate ambigu­ous text” and, in the present case, the leg­isla­tive his­to­ry does ref­er­ence arbi­tra­tion, the Supreme Court has stat­ed that it will not allow “ambigu­ous leg­isla­tive his­to­ry to mud­dy clear statu­to­ry lan­guage.”11 In the present case, the leg­isla­tive his­to­ry is ambigu­ous and the absence of arbi­tra­tion from the text reveals a clear lack of inten­tion to repeal. Ulti­mate­ly, the text and leg­isla­tive his­to­ry of the Bank­rupt­cy Code do not sup­port the con­tention that Con­gress implied­ly repealed the FAA.

Con­gress has repeat­ed­ly shown its capability—in, for exam­ple, the Motor Vehi­cle Fran­chise Con­tract Arbi­tra­tion Fair­ness Act,12 Com­mod­i­ty Exchange Act,13 Con­sumer Finan­cial Pro­tec­tion Act,14 and the Mil­i­tary Lend­ing Act15—to over­ride the FAA when it wish­es. The fact that no sim­i­lar lan­guage is present in the Bank­rupt­cy Code weighs heav­i­ly against a claim that Con­gress intend­ed to repeal the FAA as applied.

* * * * *

The Supreme Court’s rul­ing in Epic has pro­duced two diverg­ing the­o­ries on the implied repeal of the FAA. One inter­pre­ta­tion of the case is that Epic altered, clar­i­fied, or oth­er­wise over­ruled the test employed in McMa­hon and estab­lished that irrec­on­cil­able con­flict between a statute and the FAA must be sup­port­ed with clear and man­i­fest con­gres­sion­al intent.16 The oth­er inter­pre­ta­tion holds that the McMa­hon test remains ful­ly in effect and that con­gres­sion­al intent is deducible from the pres­ence of inher­ent con­flict between the statutes.17

In order to demon­strate that two statutes are irrec­on­cil­able, the mov­ing par­ty bears the bur­den of show­ing “a clear­ly expressed con­gres­sion­al inten­tion” that such a result should fol­low.18 In oth­er words, the mov­ing par­ty must demon­strate not only that the statutes can­not be har­mo­nized, but also that Con­gress had a “clear and man­i­fest” inten­tion that they con­flict.19 As stat­ed in Mit­subishi Motors Corp. v. Sol­er Chrysler-Ply­mouth, “[w]e must assume that if Con­gress intend­ed the sub­stan­tive pro­tec­tion afford­ed by a giv­en statute to include pro­tec­tion against waiv­er of the right to a judi­cial forum, that inten­tion will be deducible from text or leg­isla­tive his­to­ry.“20 This hold­ing would seem to fore­close a court’s abil­i­ty to engage in irrec­on­cil­able con­flict analy­sis absent some sup­port from text or leg­isla­tive his­to­ry. In the con­text of the Bank­rupt­cy Code and the FAA, the absence of intent to con­flict in the text and leg­isla­tive his­to­ry means that courts must find a way to rec­on­cile the two statutes. As the Epic Court put it: the lat­er statute “does not even hint at a wish to dis­place the Arbi­tra­tion Act—let alone accom­plish that much clear­ly and man­i­fest­ly, as our prece­dents demand.”21

Ear­li­er cas­es like Gilmer and McMa­hon would seem to imply that any one of three indicators—such as the Bank­rupt­cy Code’s text, the leg­isla­tive his­to­ry, or an irrec­on­cil­able con­flict between the Bank­rupt­cy Code and the FAA—independently con­sti­tute suf­fi­cient evi­dence of implied repeal. Specif­i­cal­ly, McMa­hon held that con­gres­sion­al intent to implied­ly repeal a statute may be “deducible … from an inher­ent con­flict between arbi­tra­tion and the statute’s under­ly­ing pur­pos­es.”22 Put dif­fer­ent­ly, the exis­tence of an inher­ent con­flict was suf­fi­cient to allow courts to deduce con­gres­sion­al intent. How­ev­er, more recent Supreme Court cas­es, such as Mit­subishi and Epic, take the view that any con­flict must be sup­port­ed by “clear and man­i­fest” con­gres­sion­al intent in order to be deemed irrec­on­cil­able.23 Because Epic requires a “text-first analy­sis” and “clear and man­i­fest” con­trary con­gres­sion­al com­mand, there is rea­son to “doubt . . . the con­tin­ued vital­i­ty of McMahon’s ‘inher­ent con­flict’ approach.”24 In fact, the dis­tinc­tion between McMahon’s “deducible from the pres­ence of inher­ent con­flict” stan­dard and Epic’s “clear and man­i­fest expres­sion of intent” stan­dard is so great so as to be con­sid­ered a com­plete­ly sep­a­rate test.

* * * * *

Even if con­gres­sion­al intent for statu­to­ry con­flict or for the Bank­rupt­cy Code to over­ride the FAA is not a nec­es­sary ele­ment for prov­ing implied repeal, arbi­tra­tion agree­ments are enforce­able because they can be rec­on­ciled with the Bank­rupt­cy Code. The Supreme Court has not elu­ci­dat­ed an explic­it test of what con­sti­tutes irrec­on­cil­able con­flict; how­ev­er, sev­er­al cir­cuits have inter­pret­ed McMa­hon as sug­gest­ing that the dis­tinc­tion between core and non-core pro­ceed­ings is a favor­able indi­ca­tor of whether a pro­vi­sion of the Bank­rupt­cy Code con­flicts with the FAA.25 Con­gress has artic­u­lat­ed “a nonex­clu­sive list of 16 types of pro­ceed­ings” that may be con­sid­ered “core” to bank­rupt­cy law in 28 U.S.C. §157(b)(2).26 Core pro­ceed­ings are those that involve “more press­ing bank­rupt­cy con­cerns.”27 Con­verse­ly, non-core bank­rupt­cy mat­ters are those that are gen­er­al­ly only tan­gen­tial­ly relat­ed to bank­rupt­cy cas­es.28

Gen­er­al­ly, bank­rupt­cy courts lack dis­cre­tion to pre­clude enforce­ment of arbi­tra­tion claus­es when a pro­ceed­ing is non-core.29 Even if a pro­ceed­ing is con­sid­ered core, the bank­rupt­cy court may not have dis­cre­tion to over­ride an arbi­tra­tion agree­ment if the pro­vi­sions of the Bank­rupt­cy Code does not “inher­ent­ly con­flict” with the FAA and does not nec­es­sar­i­ly jeop­ar­dize the objec­tives of the Bank­rupt­cy Code.30 Because the very ques­tion that the core/non-core test is designed to answer (whether the con­flict is irrec­on­cil­able) requires ask­ing an almost iden­ti­cal ques­tion (whether the con­flict is inher­ent), the core/non-core dis­tinc­tion is unhelpful.

Thus, courts must con­tin­ue to eval­u­ate whether an irrec­on­cil­able con­flict exists between the FAA and the Bank­rupt­cy Code. In address­ing this ques­tion, courts have con­sid­ered the impor­tance of the pro­vi­sion to the objec­tives of the over­all statu­to­ry scheme, though the cur­rent Supreme Court has cau­tioned that “allow­ing judges to pick and choose between statutes risks trans­form­ing them from expounders of what the law is into pol­i­cy­mak­ers choos­ing what the law should be.”31 The Supreme Court has estab­lished a high thresh­old to meet this test, and the auto­mat­ic stay, while cer­tain­ly cen­tral to the Bank­rupt­cy Code, can­not be said to be irrec­on­cil­able with the FAA. To date, the Supreme Court has reject­ed every sin­gle claim of irrec­on­cil­able statu­to­ry con­flict with the FAA that has come before it. 32 These cas­es have con­sid­ered statutes rang­ing from the Sher­man and Clay­ton Acts to the Age Dis­crim­i­na­tion in Employ­ment Act, the Cred­it Repair Orga­ni­za­tions Act, the Secu­ri­ties Act of 1933, the Secu­ri­ties Exchange Act of 1934, and the Rack­e­teer Influ­enced and Cor­rupt Orga­ni­za­tions Act and have rec­on­ciled the FAA with each and every one of them.33

In Mit­subishi, the Court was con­front­ed with a claimed con­flict between the FAA and the Sher­man Act, which con­tained a tre­ble-dam­ages pro­vi­sion pro­vid­ing a pri­vate cause of action. The Court not­ed that antitrust laws are of fun­da­men­tal impor­tance to the preser­va­tion of Amer­i­can demo­c­ra­t­ic cap­i­tal­ism and “[w]ithout doubt, the pri­vate cause of action plays a cen­tral role in enforc­ing … [the antitrust] … regime.”34 The tre­ble-dam­ages pro­vi­sion of the Sher­man Act was, in oth­er words, a “chief tool” in the antitrust enforce­ment regime because it posed a “cru­cial deter­rent to poten­tial vio­la­tors.”35 Thus, the role of tre­ble dam­ages is at least as cen­tral to the antitrust regime as the auto­mat­ic stay is to the bank­rupt­cy regime. Addi­tion­al­ly, the pri­vate cause of action in antitrust suits and the auto­mat­ic stay are both vol­un­tary option rights that a par­ty pos­sess­es and will­ing­ly gives up when sign­ing an arbi­tra­tion agreement.

Yet, the Mit­subishi Court refused to hold that the Sher­man Act and the FAA were irrec­on­cil­able. First, the costs of judi­cial activism were too high. Sec­ond, the arbi­tra­tor could pro­vide an ade­quate and effec­tive rem­e­dy for the par­ties and ensure that the legit­i­mate inter­ests of the antitrust regime had been addressed. Third, judi­cial scruti­ny of arbi­tra­tion deci­sions, though lim­it­ed, is suf­fi­cient to ensure that arbi­tra­tors com­ply with the coun­ter­vail­ing statu­to­ry require­ments. The McMa­hon Court reit­er­at­ed that an agree­ment to arbi­trate was unen­force­able only because the arbi­tral forum proved “inad­e­quate to enforce the statu­to­ry rights” at issue.36

In 2006, the Sec­ond Cir­cuit addressed the ques­tion of inher­ent con­flict with the FAA as applied specif­i­cal­ly to the auto­mat­ic stay in a bank­rupt­cy pro­ceed­ing.37 The court stat­ed that bank­rupt­cy courts may have dis­cre­tion to over­ride arbi­tra­tion if arbi­tra­tion “nec­es­sar­i­ly jeopardize[s]” objec­tives of the Bank­rupt­cy Code.38 The objec­tives rel­e­vant to this inquiry include the goals of pro­vid­ing debtors with a “fresh start,” the “cen­tral­ized res­o­lu­tion of pure­ly bank­rupt­cy issues, the need to pro­tect cred­i­tors and reor­ga­niz­ing debtors from piece­meal lit­i­ga­tion, and the undis­put­ed pow­er of a bank­rupt­cy court to enforce its own orders.”39 Addi­tion­al­ly, this inquiry required a par­tic­u­lar­ized inves­ti­ga­tion “into the nature of the claim and the facts of the spe­cif­ic bank­rupt­cy.”40

In MBNA Amer­i­can Bank, N.A. v. Hill, the debtor filed adver­sary pro­ceed­ings against the cred­i­tor as a puta­tive class action on behalf of her­self and oth­ers sim­i­lar­ly sit­u­at­ed, alleg­ing vio­la­tion of the auto­mat­ic stay and unjust enrich­ment.41 At the time of the action, the debtor’s estate had been ful­ly admin­is­tered and her debts dis­charged, so the auto­mat­ic stay no longer pro­vid­ed any pro­tec­tion to the debtor. Addi­tion­al­ly, the assets repos­sessed by the cred­i­tor were returned to the debtor pri­or to the com­mence­ment of the action.42

The Hill court con­clud­ed from these facts that: (1) arbi­tra­tion would not affect the admin­is­tra­tion of the bank­rupt­cy estate; (2) the debtor’s claims lacked direct con­nec­tion to her own restruc­tur­ing; and (3) a non-bank­rupt­cy court would be capa­ble of inter­pret­ing and enforc­ing the pro­vi­sions of the stay.43 Con­se­quent­ly, the court ruled that the FAA did not inher­ent­ly con­flict with the Bank­rupt­cy Code.

In fact, courts have rou­tine­ly held that bank­rupt­cy and non-bank­rupt­cy courts have con­cur­rent juris­dic­tion to inter­pret the scope of the auto­mat­ic stay.44 It log­i­cal­ly fol­lows that an arbi­tra­tor can address the scope of the auto­mat­ic stay with the same degree of apti­tude as a bank­rupt­cy court. The Mit­subishi Court implied as much when it stat­ed that par­ties that agree to arbi­tra­tion do not “for­go the sub­stan­tive rights afford­ed by the statute.”45 Rather, their agree­ment mere­ly “trades the pro­ce­dures and oppor­tu­ni­ty for review of the court­room for the sim­plic­i­ty, infor­mal­i­ty, and expe­di­tion of arbi­tra­tion.”46 As stat­ed in McMa­hon, the ques­tion of juris­dic­tion to inter­pret the scope of the auto­mat­ic stay is answered by deter­min­ing whether a plain­tiff would be able to “vin­di­cate … [their] … statu­to­ry cause of action in the arbi­tral forum.”47 As the Mit­subishi Court astute­ly observed, arbi­tra­tion might, in fact, be unique­ly well-equipped to address the cer­tain bank­rupt­cy-relat­ed dis­putes because it offers flex­i­bil­i­ty, expe­di­en­cy, and cost sav­ings to the par­tic­i­pants.48

* * * * *

A seri­ous pol­i­cy con­cern aris­es out of the ten­sion between the mul­ti­par­ty nature of bank­rupt­cy pro­ceed­ings and the two-par­ty nature of arbi­tra­tion agree­ments. For exam­ple, two par­ties might agree to an arbi­tra­tion agree­ment, enter into a bank­rupt­cy pro­ceed­ing with mul­ti­ple cred­i­tors, and sub­se­quent­ly attempt to resolve a dis­pute through arbi­tra­tion. It is pos­si­ble that one cred­i­tor in the pro­ceed­ing who did not enter an arbi­tra­tion agree­ment may nonethe­less find their recov­ery con­tin­gent upon an arbitrator’s rul­ing regard­ing the debtor and anoth­er cred­i­tor. This has the poten­tial to trans­form the cred­i­tor-ver­sus-debtor con­flict into a cred­i­tor-ver­sus-cred­i­tor competition.

One prob­lem is that the poten­tial for a mul­ti­par­ty pro­ceed­ing is present at almost any inter­sec­tion between bank­rupt­cy and arbi­tra­tion, regard­less of how sig­nif­i­cant the con­flict is. If the mere pos­si­bil­i­ty of impli­cat­ing mul­ti­ple par­ties can suf­fice to dis­pel arbi­tra­tion, then no bank­rupt­cy pro­ceed­ing can ever be waived by arbi­tra­tion. It seems unlike­ly that Con­gress intend­ed such a result, so courts must eval­u­ate the par­tic­u­lar bank­rupt­cy pro­vi­sion at issue and the facts of the spe­cif­ic bank­rupt­cy.49

One fac­tor that might be con­sid­ered is the sophis­ti­ca­tion of the par­ties and their capac­i­ty to con­tract freely. In Hill and Ander­son v. Cred­it One Bank, N.A., the debtors were a stu­dent and a pri­vate cred­it card hold­er, respec­tive­ly. The stu­dents’ abil­i­ty to under­stand the con­se­quences of an arbi­tra­tion clause or lever­age to nego­ti­ate is less than that of a multi­na­tion­al cor­po­ra­tion or com­mer­cial lender. Under basic con­tract prin­ci­ples, an agree­ment between more sophis­ti­cat­ed par­ties should be giv­en effect, while an agree­ment between less sophis­ti­cat­ed par­ties might be con­sid­ered less bind­ing.50

Anoth­er fac­tor might be whether the res­o­lu­tion of the dis­pute in arbi­tra­tion would dis­rupt the admin­is­tra­tion or dis­po­si­tion of the bank­rupt­cy estate. Where the cred­i­tor par­ty to the arbi­tra­tion has a first pri­or­i­ty lien on sub­stan­tial­ly all of the debtor’s asset’s there is no real con­cern about the race to the cour­t­house. The pri­or­i­ty lien­hold­er is the pre­de­ter­mined win­ner. Arbi­tra­tion would not, there­fore, dis­rupt the col­lec­tive or mul­ti­par­ty nature of a bank­rupt­cy pro­ceed­ing when it con­cerns the debtor and a cred­i­tor with a first pri­or­i­ty lien on the assets in question.

A final fac­tor might be whether the choice is between enforce­ment of a bank­rupt­cy right or arbi­tra­tion, or between the dif­fer­ent fora in which the applic­a­bil­i­ty of the bank­rupt­cy right is adju­di­cat­ed. The nature of the dis­pute may be such that the debtor is not relin­quish­ing sub­stan­tive rights in favor of arbi­tra­tion, but rather vin­di­cat­ing their statu­to­ry rights in the arbi­tral, rather than bank­rupt­cy, forum.51 Because the rights of the debtor remain the same, there is not a sub­stan­tial impact on third-par­ty cred­i­tors. Thus, arbi­tra­tion of such cas­es can pro­vide an ade­quate and effec­tive rem­e­dy for the par­ties with­out jeop­ar­diz­ing the objec­tives of the Bank­rupt­cy Code.

The text and leg­isla­tive his­to­ry, coun­ter­vail­ing inter­ests in favor of arbi­tra­tion, and avail­abil­i­ty of fac­tors to con­duct case-by-case analy­sis all favor the enforce­ment of cer­tain arbi­tra­tion agree­ments with­in the bank­rupt­cy con­text. Fur­ther­more, the Supreme Court, through its con­sis­tent appli­ca­tion of the FAA to a vari­ety of statu­to­ry schemes and through the log­ic espoused in cas­es like Epic, has demon­strat­ed that it is pos­si­ble and often nec­es­sary to enforce arbi­tra­tion agree­ments in the bank­rupt­cy context.


* Loren­zo Anto­nio Hoppe Vil­le­gas is a J.D. Can­di­date (2022) at New York Uni­ver­si­ty School of Law. This con­tri­bu­tion arose from the prob­lem pre­sent­ed at the 2021 Duber­stein Bank­rupt­cy Moot Court Com­pe­ti­tion at St. John’s Uni­ver­si­ty School of Law. The ques­tion pre­sent­ed asked whether 11 U.S.C. § 362 and relat­ed judi­cial code pro­vi­sions implied­ly repealed the Fed­er­al Arbi­tra­tion Act, 9 U.S.C. §§ 1 et seq. The views expressed in this con­tri­bu­tion do not nec­es­sar­i­ly rep­re­sent the views of the author. The arti­cle is a dis­til­la­tion of one side of the argu­ment assigned to the team.

1. Epic Sys. Corp. v. Lewis, 138 S. Ct. 1612, 1621 (2018) (cita­tion omitted).

2. 9 U.S.C. § 2.

3. Moses H. Cone Mem’l Hosp. v. Mer­cury Con­str. Corp., 460 U.S. 1, 24 (1983).

4. Shearson/Am. Express, Inc. v. McMa­hon, 482 U.S. 220, 227 (1987).

5. Epic, 138 S. Ct. at 1624.

6. Mor­ton v. Man­cari, 417 U.S. 535, 551 (1974) (inter­nal cita­tion and quo­ta­tions omitted).

7. McMa­hon, 482 U.S. at 226.

8. Epic, 138 S. Ct. at 1624 (cit­ing Unit­ed States v. Faus­to, 484 U.S. 439, 452–53 (1988)).

9. McMa­hon, 482 U.S. at 227 (empha­sis added) (inter­nal cita­tion and quo­ta­tions omitted).

10. The Sen­ate Report states only: “The scope of . . . Sec­tion 362(a)(1) is broad. All pro­ceed­ings are stayed, includ­ing arbi­tra­tion, admin­is­tra­tive, and judi­cial pro­ceed­ings.” S. Rep. No. 989, 95th Cong., 2d Sess. 50 (1978). Ack­er­man v. Eber (In re Eber), 687 F.3d 1123, 1129 (9th Cir. 2012) (find­ing “no evi­dence in the text of the Bank­rupt­cy Code or in the leg­isla­tive his­to­ry sug­gest­ing that Con­gress intend­ed to cre­ate an excep­tion to the FAA in the Bank­rupt­cy Code”); Con­t’l Ins. Co. v. Thor­pe Insu­la­tion Co. (In re Thor­pe Insu­la­tion Co.), 671 F.3d 1011, 1020 (9th Cir. 2012) (“Nei­ther the text nor the leg­isla­tive his­to­ry of the Bank­rupt­cy Code reflects a con­gres­sion­al intent to pre­clude arbi­tra­tion in the bank­rupt­cy set­ting.”); Whit­ing-Turn­er Con­tract­ing Co. v. Elec. Mach. Enters. (In re Elec. Mach. Enters.), 479 F.3d 791, 796 (11th Cir. 2007) (“[W]e find no evi­dence with­in the text or in the leg­isla­tive his­to­ry that Con­gress intend­ed to cre­ate an excep­tion to the FAA in the Bank­rupt­cy Code.”); Mintze v. Am. Fin. Servs., Inc. (In re Mintze), 434 F.3d 222, 231 (3d Cir. 2006) (“We find no evi­dence of such intent [to over­ride the FAA] in either the statu­to­ry text or the leg­isla­tive his­to­ry of the Bank­rupt­cy Code.”).

11. Mil­ner v. Dep’t of the Navy, 562 U.S. 562, 572, (2011).

12. 15 U.S.C. § 1226(a)(2).

13. 7 U.S.C. § 26(n)(2).

14. 12 U.S.C. § 5567(d)(2).

15. 10 U.S.C. § 987(e)(3).

16. See, e.g., MBNA Am. Bank, N.A. v. Hill, 436 F.3d 104, 108 (2d Cir. 2006).

17. See, e.g., Gilmer v. Interstate/Johnson Lane Corp., 500 U.S. 20, 26 (1991).

18. Epic Sys. Corp. v. Lewis, 138 S. Ct. 1612, 1624 (2018) (inter­nal cita­tions omitted).

19 Mor­ton v. Man­cari, 417 U.S. 535, 551 (1974) (inter­nal cita­tions and quo­ta­tions omitted).

20. 473 U.S. 614, 628 (1985) (eval­u­at­ing whether the pol­i­cy under­ly­ing the tre­ble dam­ages pro­vi­sion of the Sher­man Act was inher­ent­ly in con­flict with the FAA).

21. 138 S. Ct. at 1624.

22. Shearson/Am. Express, Inc. v. McMa­hon, 482 U.S. 220, 227 (1987).

23. Epic, 138 S. Ct. at 1624; see Mit­subishi, 473 U.S. at 628 (stat­ing arbi­tra­tion agree­ments are enforce­able unless “Con­gress itself has evinced an inten­tion to pre­clude a waiv­er of judi­cial reme­dies for the statu­to­ry rights at issue”).

24. Leslie A. Berkoff & There­sa A. Driscoll, In the Wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Deci­sion in Epic Sys­tems, Should Core Bank­rupt­cy Mat­ters Be Deemed a “Clear and Man­i­fest” Excep­tion to the Fed­er­al Arbi­tra­tion Act? 29 No. 2 Nor­ton J. Bankr. L. & Prac. 1, 1 (2020).

25. See, e.g., Ander­son v. Cred­it One Bank, N.A. (In re Ander­son), 884 F.3d 382, 387 (2d Cir. 2018), cert. denied sub nom. 139 S. Ct. 144 (2018); Whit­ing-Turn­er Con­tract­ing Co. v. Elec. Mach. Enters. (In re Elec. Mach. Enters.), 479 F.3d 791, 796 (11th Cir. 2007); Phillips v. Con­gel­ton, L.L.C. (In re White Moun­tain Min­ing Co., L.L.C.), 403 F.3d 164, 169 (4th Cir. 2005); In re Her­moyian, 435 B.R. 456, 463–64 (Bankr. E.D. Mich. 2010).

26. Well­ness Int’l Net­work, Ltd. v. Sharif, 135 S. Ct. 1932, 1940 (2015).

27. In re Unit­ed States Lines, Inc., 197 F.3d 631, 640 (2d Cir. 1999).

28. Crysen/Montenay Ener­gy Co. v. Shell Oil Co. (In re Crysen/Montenay Ener­gy Co.), 226 F.3d 160, 166 (2d Cir. 2000).

29. See, e.g., Ander­son, 884 F.3d at 388.

30. Ins. Co. of N. Am. v. NGC Set­tle­ment Trust & Asbestos Claims Mgmt. Corp. (In re Nat’l Gyp­sum Co.), 118 F.3d 1056, 1067 (5th Cir. 1997).

31. Epic Sys. Corp. v. Lewis, 138 S. Ct. 1612, 1624 (2018) (empha­sis in original).

32. Id. at 1627.

33. Id.

34. Mit­subishi Motors Corp. v. Sol­er Chrysler-Ply­mouth, 473 U.S. 614, 635 (1985).

35. Id.

36. Shearson/Am. Express, Inc. v. McMa­hon, 482 U.S. 220, 229 (1987).

37. MBNA Am. Bank, N.A. v. Hill, 436 F.3d 104 (2d Cir. 2006).

38. Id. at 108.

39. Ins. Co. of N. Am. v. NGC Set­tle­ment Tr. & Asbestos Claims Mgmt. Corp. (In re Nat’l Gyp­sum Co.), 118 F.3d 1056, 1069 (5th Cir. 1997).

40. Ander­son v. Cred­it One Bank, N.A. (In re Ander­son), 884 F.3d 382, 389 (2d Cir. 2018), cert. denied sub­nom. 139 S. Ct. 144 (2018) (inter­nal cita­tion omitted).

41. Hill, 436 F.3d at 106.

42. Id. at 109.

43. Id.

44. See, e.g., Dominic’s Restau­rant of Day­ton, Inc. v. Man­tia, 683 F.3d 757, 760 (6th Cir. 2012) (“The court in which [a non-bank­rupt­cy] pro­ceed­ing is pend­ing . . . has juris­dic­tion to decide whether the pro­ceed­ing is sub­ject to the stay.”); Erti v. Paine Web­ber Jack­son & Cur­tis, Inc. (In re Bald­win-Unit­ed Corp. Lit.), 765 F.2d 343, 347 (2d Cir. 1985) (“Whether the stay applies to lit­i­ga­tion oth­er­wise with­in the juris­dic­tion of . . . [a fed­er­al court] . . . is an issue of law with­in the com­pe­tence of both the court with­in which the lit­i­ga­tion is pend­ing . . . and the bank­rupt­cy court . . . .”).

45. Mit­subishi Motors Corp. v. Sol­er Chrysler-Ply­mouth, 473 U.S. 614, 628 (1985).

46. Id.

47. Shearson/Am. Express, Inc. v. McMa­hon, 482 U.S. 220, 240 (1987).

[48] Mit­subishi, 473 U.S. at 628.

[49] Id. at 626; MBNA Am. Bank, N.A. v. Hill, 436 F.3d 104, 108 (2d Cir. 2006).

[50] Bre­men v. Zap­a­ta Off-Shore Co., 407 U.S. 1, 9 (1972) (stat­ing that “[t]he expan­sion of Amer­i­can busi­ness and indus­try will hard­ly be encour­aged if, notwith­stand­ing solemn con­tracts, we insist on a parochial con­cept that all dis­putes must be resolved under our laws and in our courts”).

[51] Mit­subishi, 473 U.S. at 628; McMa­hon, 482 U.S. at 240.