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From the monthly archives: June, 2015

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'June, 2015'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

Texas: Arbitration clause between attorney and client upheld

This post is authored by Lonnie Schooler with Jackson Walker. Lonnie is on the State Bar of Texas' ADR Section Council. Thanks to Lonnie for brining this decision to us and for providing this outstanding analysis of Royston, Rayzor, Vickery & Williams LLP v. Lopez. Introduction.  The Texas Supreme Court on June 26, 2015, through Justice Johnson issued its unanimous decision in Royston, Rayzor, Vickery & Williams L.L.P. v. Lopez (which included a concurring opinion by Justice Guzman, joined by Justices Lehrman and Devine), upholding an arbitration clause contained within an engagement letter that the Royston, Rayzor law firm had entered into with the client. Background Facts.  The arbitration clause in question required submitting to arbitration any dispute arising out of the agreement except for claims made by the law firm for recovery of fees or expenses.  The law firm took on the representation of the client in a divorce proceeding, subject to the terms of this agreement ...

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Texas: Trial court correctly denied motion to arbitrate--Chapter 154, not 171, governs

In Beldon Roofing Co. v. Sunchase IV Homeowners' Ass'n, Inc., the Thirteenth District Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's denial of a motion to arbitrate. The parties agreed, in their original contract, to arbitrate in accordance with the Federal Arbitration Act and the Construction Industry Arbitration Rules of the AAA. While Beldon's request to compel arbitration was pending, the parties entered into an agreed order referring the parties to arbitration pursuant to Chapter 154 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, the general ADR statute, but not Chapter 171, the Texas Arbitration Act. The Court of Appeals held that the ADR Act and the TAA cannot govern the same proceeding. The TAA contemplates limited judicial review and is binding. The ADR Act, on the other hand, is nonbinding unless the parties stipulate beforehand that the award will be binding. The TAA applies to private agreements to arbitrate; the ADR Act applies only to court-ordered referrals to arbitration. Because this arbitra ...

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Pet mediation (and business tips)

Here's a fun article from Emma Johnson at Forbes

Debra Hamilton is a pet mediator based in New York. The article may provide ADR practitioners with some ideas for their business, including marketing and going "super-niche." 

Blog: There are no do-overs in mediation

Barbara Reeves recently published "There Are No Do-Overs in Mediation" at In her article, Reeves encourages counsel to prepare for a mediation because the market no longer allows the luxury of a lengthy mediation. Because of the prevalence of half-day (or shorter) mediations, counsel needs to spend time with their clients before the mediation, inoculating them against anticipated offers, thinking about how to respond to offers, using decision trees, and considering remedies and benefits that a court cannot order.

Fifth Circuit: Error in refusing to recognize Philippine arbitration award

In Asignacion v. Rickmers Genoa Schiffahrtsgesellschaft MBH & CIE, KG, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit examined whether the district court correctly refused to enforce a Philippine arbitral award pursuant to the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards and the prospective-waiver doctrine. Asignacion filed suit in Louisiana state court to recover for personal injuries with Rickmers seeking an exception to enforce the arbitration clause in the contract it had with Asignacion. The state court granted the exception, stayed litigation, and ordered arbitration in the Philippines. At arbitration, the arbitrators found that Asignacion had the lowest grade of compensable disability and awarded $1,870. Asignacion then filed a motion in Louisiana state court asking Rickmers to show cause why the Philippine arbitral award should not be set aside for violating United States public policy. That suit was removed to federal court by Rickmers. The t ...

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Texas: analysis of Texas Arbitration Act provisions of arbitrator's calculations

In Mega Builders, Inc. v. Paramount Stores, Inc., the trial court denied Mega Builder's motion to modify an arbitration award because of an alleged error by the arbitrator in calculating the amounts owed, failing to award pre-judgment interest, and refusing to award attorney's fees. The Fourteenth Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's decision. Reviewing the Texas General Arbitration Act, the Court of Appeals held that the arbitrator did not make an award based upon an "evident miscalculation of numbers". An evident miscalculation of figures must be clear, concise, and conclusive from the record. Here, the court determined that the award does not reflect an obvious mathematical miscalculation and because there was no record of the arbitration proceedings before the Court of Appeals, it could not determine if the calculation was intentional or not. Additionally, the Fourteenth Court of Appeals held that the arbitrator did not exceed her authority when she refused to award pre-judgment interest ...

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Texas: Trial court abused discretion when it granted Rule 202 petition without ruling on motion to compel arbitration

The Fourteenth District Court of Appeals issued its decision in In re Valerus Compression Services, LP, holding that the trial court abused its discretion when it granted a Rule 202 petition (to investigate potential claims) without ruling on a motion to compel arbitration. In its decision, the Court held that mandamus is the appropriate proceeding to review a trial court's order deferring ruling on a motion to compel arbitration and a trial court cannot defer its ruling on the issue of arbitrability until a Rule 202 deposition had been taken. The majority opinion cites to In re Bill Heard Chevrolet, acknowledging that the concurring opinion in In re Valerus Compression Services, LP "raises a valid argument as to why this court should consider its decision in In re Bill Heard Chevrolet." The concurring opinion states that a Rule 202 trial court does not have jurisdiction to rule on a motion to compel arbitration.


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