Angela Kleine and Neil Tyler authored an article for the Daily Journal covering two 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decisions that show how the nature of the parties’ business and relationships, and the allegations in the complaint, can shape whether a dispute is arbitrable.
“Stafford and Franklin are reminders that the way business and contractual relationships are structured can subject even the most carefully drafted arbitration provisions to an uncertain future,” the authors wrote. “Applying the same principles of equitable estoppel, the Stafford court found the plaintiff’s fraud-based claims were not subject to arbitration, while the Franklin court found the plaintiff’s employment-related claims must be arbitrated. These two decisions – issued the same day by the same court (albeit different panels of judges) – demonstrate the fact-specific analysis involved if a motion to compel is not based on a direct agreement containing an arbitration provision between the plaintiff and defendant.”
Read the full article.