Articles Posted in Arbitration & Mediation

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The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of a class action filed by plaintiff, alleging claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). The court held that the district court's dismissal without prejudice supported appellate jurisdiction. The court also held that the district court did not abuse its discretion by dismissing the case for want of prosecution in response to plaintiff's disobedience to its prior order compelling arbitration. View "Griggs v. S.G.E. Management" on Justia Law

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This appeal stemmed from the parties' dispute over Lone Star's proposed adjustments to a Revenue Calculation that provided payment to Sunbelt. The arbitrator agreed with Lone Star's upward judgment to the revenue attributable to its former customers, but reformed the contract after concluding that the parties had made a mutual mistake when their agreement listed the revenue target for the former Lone Star clients. The court affirmed and remanded for reconsideration of the mutual mistake claim. The court held that, because the parties did not agree in either the asset purchase agreement or the engagement letter to have the arbitrator decide reformation, the court must decide the issue. View "Hebbronville Lone Star Rentals, LLC v. Sunbelt Rentals Industrial Services, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit granted TKM's, the intervenor plaintiff, motion for panel rehearing and denied the motion for rehearing en banc. The court withdrew the prior opinion and substituted the following opinion. Daewoo filed suit against AMT, seeking an order compelling AMT to arbitrate and an attachment of pig iron owned by AMT. TKM attached the same pig iron in Louisiana state court and then intervened in the federal suit. The court held that it had subject matter jurisdiction under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, because Daewoo's suit related to a covered arbitration agreement. In this case, the parties dispute whether Louisiana's non-resident attachment statute allowed for attachment in aid of arbitration. The court declined to adopt a categorical approach to this issue and held that, because Louisiana law allowed for attachment in aid of yet-to-be-brought actions, non-resident attachment may be available in aid of arbitration when an eventual confirmation suit was contemplated. The court affirmed the district court's judgment, nonetheless, because Daewoo did not strictly comply with the attachment statute's procedural requirements. View "Stemcor USA Inc. v. Cia Siderurgica do Para Cosipar" on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit reversed the district court's judgment compelling arbitration in an action brought by a former employee of Ref-Chem. The court held that the express language of the agreement at issue required for it to be signed by both parties and it was undisputed that Ref-Chem did not sign the agreement. Therefore, there was no valid agreement to arbitrate in this case. The court remanded for further proceedings. View "Huckaba v. Ref-Chem, L.P." on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of Delek's challenge to an arbitrator's award in an action alleging that the company violated a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), which required that employees get first crack at new work unless certain exceptions apply. The court held that the arbitrator's exercise of his discretion did not conflict with the CBA, and that the district court did not abuse its discretion in finding that Delek's challenge was without justification and subject to a fee award. View "Delek Refining, Limited v. Local 202" on Justia Law

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In two separate actions against HomeAway, the Fifth Circuit reversed the district court's judgment in Plaintiff Ivan Arnold's case and affirmed the judgment in Plaintiff Deirdre Seim's case, holding that plaintiffs were bound to arbitrate their threshold arbitrability questions. In Arnold's case, the court held that there was a contract between the parties that contained a putative arbitration provision, the parties have agreed to delegate threshold questions about the arbitration provision to an arbitrator, and Arnold did not specifically challenge the validity of the delegation clause. In Seim's case, the district court was correct to order arbitration but should not have assessed threshold questions itself. Accordingly, the court remanded both cases with instructions to compel arbitration. View "Arnold v. HomeAway, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's motion to compel arbitration. Determining that it had jurisdiction and the premature notice of appeal was effective, the court held that the Green Tree Parties had standing to compel arbitration even if some were not signatories to the arbitration. In this case, the House Parties' allegation supported application of Mississippi's intertwined claims test to permit Green Tree and WIMC to compel arbitration as non-signatories. The court also held that the district court did not err in ruling that the parties' express incorporation of the JAMS rules provided clear evidence that they agreed that the arbitrator would decide arbitrability. Finally, the district court correctly referred the question of fraud to the arbitrator. View "Green Tree Servicing LLC v. House" on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of DoorDash's motion to compel arbitration and dismissal of an action brought by an independent contractor. Plaintiff had filed a putative class action, alleging claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The court held that the district court did not err in compelling arbitration before considering the class certification where arbitrability was a threshold question to be determined at the outset. The court also held that the district court did not err in enforcing the arbitration agreement where the Independent Contractor Agreement contained an agreement to arbitrate, which, through incorporation of the AAA rules, contained an agreement to delegate issues of arbitrability to the arbitrator. The court treated the delegation clause as valid and rejected plaintiff's remaining claims. View "Edwards v. DoorDash, Inc." on Justia Law

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McCall resigned from Shaw and later became the CEO of Allied, Shaw’s direct competitor. Shaw sued, citing noncompete and nonsolicitation agreements in McCall’s employment contract. Those agreements call for arbitration and state that the employer may seek injunctive relief without waiving the right to arbitrate. The state court issued a Joint Protective Order. Aptim acquired the rights to McCall’s employment agreement but withdrew a subsequent motion for substitution in the suit. Aptim filed a demand for arbitration with the American Arbitration Association. Shaw filed an amended petition, deleting its request for damages, and a motion to dismiss the amended petition with prejudice. McCall filed an opposition, an answer, a counterclaim, a petition for declaratory judgment, a motion to consolidate, and a motion for constructive contempt against Aptim for demanding arbitration in violation of the protective order, though Aptim was not then a party to the case. Aptim, without Shaw, sued in federal court to compel arbitration and to stay the state-court proceeding. Before the federal court ruled, the state court issued an order joining Aptim in the state-court action, retroactively effective, finding that Aptim and Shaw had waived their arbitration rights. The federal district court then ordered arbitration and stayed the state-court action. The Fifth Circuit affirmed, finding that the factors weighed against abstention because the case does not involve jurisdiction over a thing and federal law provides the rules of decision on the merits and strongly favors arbitration. View "Aptim Corp. v. McCall" on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's decision reversing the magistrate judge's grant of a motion to compel arbitration. In this case, plaintiff alleged violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act, 1 U.S.C. 15, and the Texas Free Enterprise and Antitrust Act. Defendants moved to compel arbitration pursuant to a clause in the parties' contract (the Dealer Agreement). The court held that, regardless of whether an agreement clearly and unmistakably delegates the question of arbitrability, defendants' arguments for arbitrability were wholly groundless. Therefore, this action was not subject to mandatory arbitration. The court need not reach the question of whether the third parties to the arbitration clause could enforce such an arbitration clause. View "Archer and White Sales, Inc. v. Henry Schein, Inc." on Justia Law