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In June 2016, AmSurg Corp. and Envision Healthcare Holdings, Inc. (Envision) announced they have signed a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which the companies will combine in an all-stock transaction. Upon completion of the merger, which is expected to be tax-free to the shareholders of both organizations, the combined company will be named Envision Healthcare Corporation and co-headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee and Greenwood Village, Colorado. The company's common stock is expected to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol: EVHC. Bass, Berry & Sims served as lead counsel on the transaction, led by Jim Jenkins. Read more.

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Inside the FCA blogInside the FCA blog features ongoing updates related to the False Claims Act (FCA), including insight on the latest legal decisions, regulatory developments and FCA settlements. The blog provides timely updates for corporate boards, directors, compliance managers, general counsel and other parties interested in the organizational impact and legal developments stemming from issues potentially giving rise to FCA liability.

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Supreme Court Decision Favors Arbitration Clauses in Bank Deposit Agreements


October 18, 2012

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion sent a resounding message in favor of arbitration clauses and class action waivers in consumer contracts.1 The high Court strengthened that message for banks last week by declining to review rulings enforcing arbitration clauses in bank deposit agreements.2

Buffington v. SunTrust Banks, Inc. and Hough v. Regions Fin. Corp. are part of a wave of class action litigation across the country challenging banks' processing order for debit card and ATM transactions and the effect that processing order has on customers' overdraft fees.3 SunTrust and Regions were swept into a massive multidistrict litigation proceeding in the Southern District of Florida in which the court has issued several plaintiff-friendly decisions. The district court continued its trend in favor of plaintiffs by denying SunTrust's and Regions' motions to compel arbitration. Both banks appealed.

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the district court, finding that the banks' arbitration clauses were enforceable and applicable. The court noted that The Federal Arbitration Act reflects a "liberal federal policy favoring arbitrations," providing that arbitration agreements "shall be . . . enforceable, save upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for [their] revocation."4 The court rejected arguments that the specific arbitration clauses at issue were either procedurally or substantively unconscionable, finding that the clauses were consistent with Georgia law, were not particularly one-sided and were conspicuous.

By declining to review the Eleventh Circuit's decision in favor of the banks' arbitration agreements, the Supreme Court has effectively confirmed that the liberal federal policy in favor of arbitration applies to consumer contracts. Banks should review their deposit agreements to determine whether to include arbitration clauses and class action waivers, and if so, how those clauses should be worded. Our financial institutions attorneys are experienced in drafting these clauses and representing banks in court proceedings, arbitrations and regulatory proceedings.

1 AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 131 S. Ct. 1740, 1745 (2011).
2 Buffington v. SunTrust Banks, Inc., No. 12-146, 2012 U.S. LEXIS 7890 (Oct. 9, 2012); Hough v. Regions Fin. Corp., No. 12-139, 2012 U.S. LEXIS 7880 (Oct. 9, 2012).
3 In re Checking Account Overdraft Litg., 459 Fed. Appx. 855 (11th Cir. 2012); Hough v. Regions Fin. Corp., 672 F.3d 1224 (11th Cir. 2012).
4 9 U.S.C. § 2 (2012).

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