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Judge Alex Must Arbitrate Fee Dispute

WASHINGTON (CN) - The star of the Fox television show "Judge Alex" lost his Supreme Court bid to avoid arbitration in a fee dispute with an entertainment lawyer.

The high court voted 8-1 that Alex E. Ferrer must arbitrate his claim that he does not owe Arnold Preston 12 percent of the show's earnings because Preston is not a licensed talent agent.

Preston moved to arbitrate the fee dispute under the Federal Arbitration Act, and Ferrer responded with a lawsuit trying to block arbitration under California state law.

"When parties agree to arbitrate all questions arising under a contract, the FAA supersedes state laws," Justice Ginsburg wrote.

Justice Thomas dissented, saying the Act does not apply to state-court proceedings.

The Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists had filed a brief on Ferrer's behalf, urging the justices to defer to state law.

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