Editor’s Column

Vol. 53 No. 1

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In this, the fall issue of Infrastructure, we have tried to capture the background and consequences of two important Supreme Court decisions. One of these, Tarrant Regional Water Dist. v. Herrmann, involves the availability of an increasingly precious resource—water. The effort of Texas to divert water ostensibly governed by the Red River Compact in the face of Oklahoma’s protectionist statutes invoked the commerce clause as well as the terms of the Compact. The need for water in the case under examination arose in the growing Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. Although the decision limited the Oklahoma statutes, it left unanswered the broader issue of availability of water supplies for growing and thirsty areas.

Our other and searching article explores the latest development in Supreme Court jurisprudence involving arbitration clauses and contractual waivers of class action arbitrations, American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant. The article describes the efforts of the Court in a series of decisions to limit class action arbitrations, but notes the remaining significant gap in case law, leaving the door open for arbitrators to order class arbitration. This is a most significant discussion of arbitration and its relation to class actions and explores the continuing evolution of the trend to restrict class action arbitrations but suggests the difficulties of the road ahead.

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