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From the monthly archives: July, 2014

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'July, 2014'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

Texas: 1st Court of Appeals upholds arbitration award; arbitrators were neutral and did not exceed authority

In Forest Oil Corp. v. El Rucio Land & Cattle Co., Inc., the First District Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's confirming an arbitration award. One party claimed that the Texas Railroad Commission had exclusive jurisdiction to resolve the dispute and that an arbitrator wasn't neutral because he had been considered, but not selected, to mediate the matter, amongst other objections to the award. Link here.

Texas Supreme Court: Arbitration award vacated because arbitrators were not selected pursuant to arbitration agreement

In Americo Life, Inc. v. Myer, the Texas Supreme Court vacated an arbitration award, holding that the arbitrators were not selected according to the parties' agreement. One of the parties wanted to select an arbitrator and the AAA disqualified the arbitrator. Thus, the arbitration was not held according to the agreement of the parties. Link here.

5th Circuit: Motion to compel arbitration correctly denied using "wholly groundless" standard for whether claim was subject to arbitration

In Douglas v. Regions Bank, the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appels upheld the trial court's denial of the bank's motion to arbitrate. The trial court ruled on grounds that there was no arbitration agreement. The Fifth Circuit found there was an agreement, but the plaintiff's argument that arbitration was appropriate was "wholly groundless." Link here.

Texas: 14th Court of Appeals holds mediation agreement was improperly incorporated into final judgment of divorce.

In Woody v Woody, an agreement informally entered into in course of mediation in divorce action with respect to child support was improperly incorporated into final judgment of divorce. There was no signed, mediated settlement agreement and one of the parties withdrew their consent to informal agreement prior to rendition of judgment. Link here.

Texas: 5th Court of Appeals holds where arbitration provision was permissive, trial court correctly denied motion to arbitrate

In Texas Health Resources and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas d/b/a Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas v. Kruse, the Dallas Court of Appeals held that because an employers arbitration policy was permissive, and not mandatory and exclusive, the motion to compel arbitration was properly denied. Link here.

New York: Overcoming resistance to mediation in complex cases

New York is implementing a pilot program where 20% of commercial cases are ordered to mediation in the Commercial Division of the New York Supreme Court. Link here.

6th Circuit: Arbitration clause survives expiration of contract, even if not identified in survival clause

The Federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that an arbitration clause survives the expiration of a contract, even if it is not included in the survival clause. Link here

Article: Should you write discovery out of the arbitration agreement?

From Inside Counsel, two attorneys discuss whether parties should include limitations on discovery in their arbitration agreement and whether there times when a party should affirmatively stake out a right to discovery in the arbitration clause. Link here. 

California: Federal court won't allow Uber to use arbitration provision to limit class action suits

A federal judge in San Francisco ruled that Uber, creator of a taxi-service smartphone app, can't use an arbitration provision to block class action suits.  Link here.

California: Court finds requirement for parties to split costs of mediation isn't unconscionable

An agreement requiring pre-suit mediation with parties splitting the cost isn’t unconscionable on its face as a tax to be paid before accessing the court system. The court rejected the unconscionability argument, finding that it was reasonable to require the parties to split this expense. Link here.

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