Arbitration Round-Up – Existence Or Validity Of Agreement To Arbitrate

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The following recent cases analyzed whether the parties entered into a valid agreement to arbitrate and under what circumstances a court may consider that issue.

Dasher v. RBC Bank (U.S.A.), No. 13-10257 (11th Cir. Feb. 10, 2014) (affirming denial of motion to compel arbitration, finding absence of arbitration provision in agreement which superseded prior agreement, which included an arbitration provision, provided no evidence of the parties’ intent to arbitrate)

JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A. v. Bluegrass Powerboats, No. 2011-SC-000668-DG (Ky. Mar. 20, 2014) (affirming trial court’s order setting aside order compelling arbitration after the arbitrator had rendered a dispositive order, finding that because the arbitrator’s decision was not final, and because the evidence did not support the existence of an agreement to arbitrate, the trial court had the power to correct its prior erroneous ruling)

The Flowserve Corp. v. United States Fire Insurance Co., Case No. 2:14-cv-00676 (USDC D. N.J. May 7, 2014) (granting defendant’s motion to compel arbitration, finding that parties’ side agreement, which did not include an arbitration clause and which modified certain terms of the underlying settlement agreement which did include an arbitration clause, evidenced the parties’ agreement to arbitrate where side agreement provided that, except to the extent it modified the terms of the settlement agreement, all terms of the settlement agreement remained binding upon the parties)

Lakah v. UBS A.G., Case No. 1:07-cv-02799-MGC (USDC S.D.N.Y. March 20, 2014) (denying “what amounts to a summary judgment motion” that plaintiffs should be compelled to arbitrate on the basis of veil piercing and estoppels theories because there were issues of fact as to the making of the agreement for arbitration)

Bank of the Ozarks, Inc. v. Walker, 201 Ark. 223 (2014) (vacating appellate court’s reversal of trial court’s order denying motion to compel arbitration, and remanding matter to trial court, finding that trial court, which ruled that arbitration clause was unconscionable, must first determine whether a valid arbitration agreement existed and, if so, whether the dispute fell within the scope of the agreement)

 

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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