Carlyle Group LP, the Washington-based buyout company that'spreparing to go public, is seeking to bar its future shareholdersfrom filing individual and class-action lawsuits.

The firm revised its governing documents last week to say thatinvestors who purchase company shares must settle any subsequentclaims against Carlyle through arbitration in Wilmington, Delaware.That could limit the ability of stockholders to win big awards forsecurities-law violations such as fraud, several attorneyssaid.

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a series of rulings in recentyears upholding the right of companies to require the use ofarbitration to resolve disputes with consumers. Carlyle is seekingto extend this principle to public shareholders, a move that couldrun up against a bedrock of U.S. securities law, the ability ofinvestors to seek redress in federal court.

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