Jay-Z

Rap mogul Jay-Z won a historic court decision that will impact the way arbitration is used to resolve legal conflicts around the country.

The 49-year-old rapper, whose real name is Shawn Carter, asked the New York court to pause an arbitration in a lawsuit brought by Iconix Brand Group because he couldn't find one Black arbitrator from the list provided by the court.

In a historic decision, the judge agreed that the lack of even a single qualified Black arbitrator to hear Jay-Z's case was a violation of his rights to equal protection and due process under the law.

"This is historic," said Jay-Z's attorney, Alex Spiro, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"After a preliminary conference with the AAA, Mr. Carter and his companies sought to choose an arbitrator pursuant to the parties' agreement, which required consultation of a list of more than 200 prospective [arbitrators]," wrote Spiro in a petition to pause the arbitration.

Jay-Z and Iconix are feuding over a $200 million deal he signed a decade ago for the use of the "Roc Nation" trademark on baseball caps and other merchandise.

A federal judge ordered Jay-Z and Iconix to settle the case out of court by using an arbitrator to hear arguments from both sides and render a decision to resolve the conflict.

If the arbitrator fails to resolve the conflict the case will proceed to trial.

So Jay-Z and his lawyers came up with an ingenious way to halt the arbitration process by claiming there are no Black arbitrators on the court's list that "had the background and experience to preside over the arbitration."

Jay-Z's lawyer argued that the lack of Black arbitrators would "deprive black litigants like Mr. Carter and his companies of the equal protection of the laws, equal access to public accommodations, and mislead consumers into believing that they will receive a fair and impartial adjudication."

Supreme Court Justice Saliann Scarpulla granted the rapper a temporary restraining order halting the arbitration -- at least until the next court date on Dec. 11.

The judge's decision sent shockwaves through the legal community because it is the first decision of its kind in the United States.

Photos by WENN.com

  • n1kk1a

    Good job guys!

  • Carrington

    Well, if you can have a "jury of your peers" in a court case, why shouldn't you have an arbitrator of your peers as well?

  • Trace da Ace

    good for him.....

  • iWasteTime
  • MsVAllDay

    #FACTS

  • HoneyyGoodMoneyy_
  • Kanyade

    He’s quite clever. Congrats Corey.

  • Coffee1st

    Smart. If only we all could afford good representation; nevertheless, good for him. I'm glad whenever these subs are held accountable for their schemes and lopsided scales.
    I know this is incredibly shallow in light of the topic: But good lawd....this man is SO hard on the eyes. I honestly just stare sometimes, hoping to see a glimmer of attractiveness. I fail everytime.

  • DaughterOfaQueen

    I'm confused, his lawyer isn't even black. Somebody help me understand what's going on??

  • ShadesofEMPRESS

    Get it J

  • Pitty Patty

    Boy, having money can do a lot of things. Good for Jay. The Carters out here doing BIG things.

  • Applebootay

    WINNING! 2019 gone be FIYAH!

  • Applebootay

    I see millions when I see him and that is very attractive to me. Money looks good...Like he said ..."aint no such thing as an ugly billionaire, I'm cute",

  • Applebootay

    I see millions when I see him and that is very attractive to me. Money looks good...Like he said ..."aint no such thing as an ugly billionaire, I'm cute",

  • Scromes1212

    Serious victory. We have a huge need for more African Americans involved in our legal system smh

  • Scromes1212

    Serious victory. We have a huge need for more African Americans involved in our legal system smh

  • Applebootay

    Let me go look up, how to become an Arbitrator...looks like they'll be in demand in 2019.....

  • Applebootay

    Let me go look up, how to become an Arbitrator...looks like they'll be in demand in 2019.....

  • Applebootay
  • Applebootay
  • ShadesofEMPRESS

    That’s why I work in the legal system.

  • Applebootay

    Degree Level
    Bachelor's degree; graduate degree in law or MBA common

    Salary: $58,020 for a GOTDAMN MBA--I make more than that now and I don't have a Graduate degree....I change my mind...
    $58,020 (2015 median salary for all arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators)

    Degree Fields
    Graduate programs in conflict resolution or law are especially relevant

    Licensing
    Some states require arbitrators to be licensed attorneys;
    licensing is also necessary to gain adequate work experience in other
    regulated industries, like real estate or construction

    Experience
    5-10 years of experience practicing law or working in a related industry

    Key Skills
    Decisiveness, strong reasoning and communication skills

    Salary
    $58,020 (2015 median salary for all arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators)

    Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, State government websites, American Arbitration Association

    Arbitration enables opposing parties to settle a dispute out
    of court. An arbitrator, working independently or as part of a small
    panel, holds hearings, reviews evidence and renders decisions. These
    proceedings are very similar to a trial, but more private and less
    formal. Travel to neutral sites might be required. This position is
    often part-time or as needed.

    Arbitrators must obviously have strong reasoning ability and
    communication skills. They should also be decisive. In 2015, the U.S.
    Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that arbitrators, mediators and
    conciliators together earned a median annual salary of $58,020.

  • SJ

    Too bad he's not a billionaire...

  • Vonn

    ?? I feel a "The Stabber" comment coming, if there isn't already one posted.

  • Scromes1212

    I with you smh them degrees gonna run you at least 200 thousand. The math don't add up lol

  • http://realitytea.com/ Lady Chatterley’s Lover

    It's MUELLER time. Michael Cohen just delivered the goods.

  • Waya Hedia

    unbelievable. the SC sill shoot this one down in a second.

  • Waya Hedia

    lol.

  • Scromes1212

    Lol he lied to Congress smh he will be the perfect person to take the witness stand smh and can you tell Mueller to hurry up we be been waiting on his smoking gun for years now smh

  • Minkie Babie

    I always wondered if Rocafella was his brand why he always wearing the yankee hat. Why not make yah brand famous after taking money from investors. This is bullshit cause when he scheming to fake numbers and cash checks ain’t no backs in the room.

  • RICHIE_RICH

    Truth be told they been doing big things ?????

  • RICHIE_RICH

    I see millions $$$$$$$$$$$$$

  • RICHIE_RICH

    He not far from it himself, but with his wife, since their one he is ?????

  • http://realitytea.com/ Lady Chatterley’s Lover

    Yes and a very high QUALITY lie that is being CORRECTED with COLLABORATION. I guess Donnie had a REASON to be concerned about that PREJURY trap.

  • Applebootay

    The educational system is a HUGE RIP OFF>....I don't need no degree to arbitrate..I have over 40 years of experience in arbitrating crazy MOFOS ALL MY LIFE....my kids, family, ex husbands....even recently, I've been charged with calling 2 separate family members to arbitrate them back into the fold....

  • Minkie Babie

    Girl he sooooooooo far from that shit. They get salary that’s why he wants this shot to go down this way. He knows his group can control blacks better. When you see his 20M bank account everybody gonna wanna know what’s the deal.

  • Scromes1212

    That's a roc nation hat he has on

  • FukkFolks2018

    Yall already know! He DID cut Un deep into his back fat. Damn STABBER

  • FukkFolks2018

    You never disappoint

  • RICHIE_RICH

    Do you have proof of this?

  • Minkie Babie

    He admitted to making the yankee hat more famous than the yankee name. Then rode Tom fords dick. Please. Give these people they’re money for being signed to rep they’re brand the one you sold to them. I always said that shit was stupid. He has a 2% share in Ny Yankees for merchandising and representing.

  • Scromes1212

    What exactly is a high quality lie? Lol Cohen is not going to help whatever case they try to bring. He is a admitted liar smh he lied about at&t, lied to Trump, lied to Congress. He will say or do anything to save his a*s lol

  • Vonn

    ?

  • Scromes1212

    Ok..... But that is a roc nation hat he has on.

  • Skin Deep Beauty

    Money will BUY YOU ANYTHING but the prevention of death..

  • FukkFolks2018

    New post. Resume and Toyota

  • http://realitytea.com/ Lady Chatterley’s Lover

    Oh course he is a liar. He LIED about the Stormy Daniel payment. But GUESS who else LIED and LIES so much that they can't even talk to Mueller. But a WRITTEN lie is even better.

  • Scromes1212

    So your star witness lied to Congress? Lol you can't make this stuff up smh so he is not lying when you need him to testify for you but he lies when he testifies for me? Interesting lol

  • Scromes1212

    Yup, look at Steve job

  • DroneRivers

    No designer ever wears ONLY their stuff. There are lots of pics of him wearing Rocawear clothing but NY dudes rock Yankee fitteds. That's just how it was/is.

  • http://realitytea.com/ Lady Chatterley’s Lover

    Like MOST of Donnie's supporters you can't keep up so GOO DAY.

  • Renee26

    They had rulings like this related to jury selection too so why are they so shocked??

  • Renee26

    There's plenty...they just didn't select any for their list

  • Scromes1212

    And like most people that want so bad for it to be some solid evidence that shows Trump colluding with Russia, you can't come up with nothing smh

  • Scromes1212

    there is a serious lack of African Americans in the legal system. The percentage of black da's and judges is extremely low

  • http://realitytea.com/ Lady Chatterley’s Lover

    Right, because JUSTICE is not BLIND.

  • Minkie Babie

    That’s dumb. So you rob your shareholders after selling them the Ricafella stay on as creative director like you were told but Rick other brands that have nothing to do with your brand. Please OTR VIIIIIXII coming. That’s why you don’t need the super bowl cause your are.

  • Minkie Babie

    Tell him to say I made the roc hat more famous than the Rocafella name. Nas already checked him a check he never came back from

  • Scromes1212

    Oh I see, you just not a fan of Hov. That's cool I get it but he goes hard supporting his brand. He didn't early on but he definitely does now.

  • adrshepard

    Hmm. Either the percentage of black DA's and judges is pretty much where it ought to be given the supply of qualified candidates and the voting preferences of the public, or there's a systematic, yet uncoordinated and entirely amorphous process of denying black people the necessary opportunities at every level of their educational and career development due to malicious impulses that 99 percent of the population explicitly denies having and are so hidden that half of century of civil rights law provides no recourse.

    I can't decide which to believe. I mean they are both equally plausible...

  • Waya Hedia

    For the record, Sandra, your headline is wrong. He won a temporary stay until Dec 11th. And it is far from a 'civil rights' case.

    as well:

    John Kiernan, former chair of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution, a dispute-resolution group.

    “For him to claim that it’s unconstitutional for the AAA to not
    have enough arbitrators of color, when he personally agreed to have the
    AAA be the entity that would arbitrate his disputes, is likely not to
    be a legally appealing argument,” he said.

  • Scromes1212

    TI?

  • Applebootay

    He's closer to one than I'll evah be.....and that's close enough for me!

  • adrshepard

    Because arbitrators aren't picked at random from the general public. They are highly trained professionals, often lawyers, who must obtain special licenses and almost exclusively have at least 10 years of experience in their field.

    To suggest that such people are inherently incapable of performing their job because of the color of their skin is not only insulting, but racist by definition.

  • adrshepard

    I wonder what his criteria were for the arbitrator, given at least some of which he passed over were minorities? X number of years living in the projects? What's the raw data for an individual's personal experience that makes them qualified to serve as an arbitrator in a trademark dispute among companies headed by black people? Are they different for companies headed by white people? If only black arbitrators are acceptable, what's the racial percentage requirement if they're mixed race?

    How do we resolve the fact that the judge granted Jay-Z's request for an injunction is white? Shouldn't her whiteness have led her to misunderstand or otherwise dismiss Jay-Z's legal argument because she lacks the relevant experience?

  • Applebootay

    Like I said...He's closer to one than I'll evah be! Haters!

  • adrshepard

    Before reading the judges order, I'd almost have to believe that the only reason for the stay is that the AAA agreed to try to find an arbitrator Jay-Z would like. It seem inconceivable that a judge would rule a trained professional would be incapable of handling certain cases solely because of race and background, rather than experience and qualifications. What's to stop the same argument from being used against court-appointed counsel or judges themselves?

  • Renee26

    Welcome to the glass ceilings of Amerikka... Check for attorneys and paralegals; the numbers are much higher. Just like many other professions when ypu get to the upper ranking C-Suite roles there are fewer of US.

    They could have chosen lawyers or even paralegals with that 5yrs of experience to be possible arbitrators

  • what?why

    So Jay Z thinks because a person is black he/she will lean in his direction ? Um-m-m sounds racist to me.

  • what?why

    Please correct - not a civil rights case.

  • what?why

    Well get certifications, degrees in your line of interest. Easy

  • Hunni24

    I don't think it's a full time job. It's more like a side hustle. But I could be wrong.

  • s e l i n a k y l e.

    As someone who's been through arb, I hate to admit it but he's right. I used a firm in Atlanta & not one of them were Black. It irked me.

    Am I saying race in the legal system matters? YES. I don't have time to Google stats or write an essay but your common sense should tell you why it's important to have representation in these processes.

  • YellowSauce

    if the courts thought that was what he was saying he wouldn't have won ... what he is saying is because there is no diversity it can't be a fair hearing which he is entitled to BY LAW .... and I'm so glad he is using his intelligence in this way because it is GENIUS

  • Renee26

    Yeah...they could've found a few POC to include in that list of 200.... Those who put the list together wanted all yt arbitrators intentionally

  • adrshepard

    If I were a white lawyer with impeccable skills, qualifications, and widely regarded as a living authority on all legal matters, under what circumstances should I tell my black client that he would be better served by a lawyer of another race?

    You don't have to be too specific, just give me a common sense explanation.

  • Parent

    Round of applause!

  • what?why

    The decision to placate Jay is TEMPORARY - he didn't win anything. He/team voiced an opinion and the courts responded - far from genius, happens everyday, all day in the judicial system.

  • Black4life

    So...let's say there was a trial for you, would you prefer 11 white jurors and one black person ? The legal system is not made for black people...black people. This decision was probably paid for and will not set any precedents.

  • Oya Shango

    Does Jay-Z have any blacks working in his company? I thought I read somewhere that he didn't. Now, he is concerned about qualified Blacks when it serves his interest?

  • lovelygamour

    i know tidal didnt. its a european company and when they bought it they laid people off. so i doubt he added a few black faces. then his other company dont seem to have any black. the music side had a few black managers but who knows if they are still there.

  • Jussjess25

    Glad the courts agreed but what will it change? Like is the case gonna go to trial instead..good write up auntie

  • lovelygamour

    he has been pushing black love as a way to set himself up as the top tastemaker. now, we also see he is using it in his legal dealings. they dont need a black arbitrator for this. representation matters, yes. but this is about whether he sold his trademark and then used it for free. pretty cut and dry.

  • lovelygamour

    this seems to have struck a nerve with you. on some issues it would be appropriate to have a black person. in this case i dont think it matters but if he can help some poc join the incestuous court system then thats great. more diverse voices are needed.

  • lovelygamour

    ashton kucher did steve jobs fruitarian diet to prepare for the role. it made him sick and i believe shut down one of his organs.

  • lovelygamour

    he trying to keep up with the youngings. what the streets is wearing he will be wearing.

  • lovelygamour

    lol. i think beyonce just want to stay relevant and pay the loans off.

  • adrshepard

    I wouldn't care about the racial makeup of the jury unless the legal question specifically involved racism. Frankly, if minority-focused publications like theroot are indicative of minority perspectives involving race relations, I'd be nervous about any jury trial with a minority-heavy jury.

  • DaughterOfaQueen

    Great explanation.

  • LibgraScales

    Thank you! :-)

  • YellowSauce

    he won his argument and will now have an opportunity to be tried fairly ... it was genius because this point could have easily been overlooked and he would have been given whomever was available instead of someone to his preference

  • what?why

    He didn't win anything - they recognized his concern, by law they have too, then set Dec 13th as a deadline. Arbitrators are hard to come by and are highly educated. Maybe Jay should sponsored minorities that are interested in this field - solves the problem. (I doubt he will part with his money). Now that would be "genius".

  • YellowSauce

    I used the term won in the same context Sandra used it in the title to this post ....

  • what?why

    Sandra's wrong. He was presented with 3 minorities as arbitrators but refused them hence the deadline. Interesting! More reason to sponsor his own liking.

  • s e l i n a k y l e.

    -sigh.- Sir or madam.

    I'm not saying people shouldn't hire lawyers or arbitrators because they're white. I'm saying there should be a level playing field. If I'm going through arbitration and there's an entire crew of white, male arbs--am I going to feel like they'll have my best interests at heart as a Black woman? Yeah, maybe a few of them will actually be fair. But if you're familiar AT ALL with institutional racism, class-ism, or even a history of Black people going through the motions of the judicial system, you wouldn't have asked me a stupid question like this.

  • s e l i n a k y l e.

    This is the dumbest reply I've read in ages. So you're basing your knowledge and experiences with Black people over minority-aimed blogs? What would make you so nervous about a minority-heavy jury??? A majority-white jury is normal for you, I suppose! I know you baited my ass almost a month ago, but I'm here so let's have at it!

  • adrshepard

    Do you even know what an arbitrator is?

    It's one person with expertise and experience in a given field, often deriving a career in law, who hears both sides of a dispute and attempts to find an equitable solution without resorting to formal legal action. These aren't random people pulled off the street and asked to settle disputes based on their personal conceptions of fairness. They are trained professionals required to undergo significant and certifications. This is especially true for members of the American Arbitration Association, which Jay-Z used. You can find their requirements pretty easily online.

    If you agree that such individuals would be objectively qualified because of their expertise and experience, then their race shouldn't matter. If you think otherwise, then professing that you think some whites will be fair really doesn't matter because you're making a general rule or prediction about behavior based on race, rather than a case-by-case determination of an individual's character.

    You know what that sounds like, don't you?

  • adrshepard

    Did I say that my understanding and experiences with black people are guided by minority-aimed blogs? No. I said that if such views regarding racial issues were indicative of what was commonly believed among minorities, I would be nervous about such a group deciding my fate if their decision hinged upon an issue regarding race. On certain topics or in reactions to events, our respective views would seem so far apart that I might as well be an alien from another planet, and if members of a jury (and people in general) cannot relate to you or even fathom your values or views, etc, they are much less likely to be sympathetic to your plight.

  • s e l i n a k y l e.

    So you don’t think that applies if the shoe is on the other foot? A Black person being tried, with a majority mayo jury who has never and can never know what it’s like to be in their shoes??

    If you are white I guess you would be nervous, but at least you’d know what it would feel like. I have no sympathy or empathy for that. -shrug.-

  • adrshepard

    My mistake. You did go through arbitration, it was simply that your comments reflected a complete misunderstanding of it.|

    In any case, at least we got to the bottom of it. You don't think any white arbitrator (or any white person) is capable of making fair decisions involving minorities. At the very least, you think they come to different conclusions about legal and academic matters when one of the parties is a minority.

    Make no mistake; this is your position. When you claim that a white arbitrator cannot help but be unfair to black people, you are making a value generalization about a race. It is equally as racist as saying black males cannot help but be poor fathers because they tend to be unfaithful or desert their wives. It doesn't matter that you can point to supposed racial inequities in the justice system due to the involvement of whites or demographic statistics on race, fatherhood, and marriage. They are both racist statements.