Arbitration Ordered Based on Poorly-Drafted Arbitration Clause

The Dallas Court of Appeals has reversed a trial court order denying a motion to compel arbitration. The arbitration clause was contained in a contract between a temporary employee and his employment agency, which gave both parties the right to “elect mandatory, binding arbitration for any claim, dispute, or controversy between you, and our clients or us” [sic]. The plaintiff claimed that the arbitration agreement was unenforceable due to substantive unconscionability, lack of consideration, and lack of essential terms. The Court held that nothing in the arbitration agreement demonstrated that the specific manner of arbitration was a material consideration to the parties, noting that the FAA specifically contemplates circumstances in which the parties have not provided for a method of appointment for an arbitrator. The Court also held that the consideration for the overall contract was sufficient to support the arbitration clause as well. Finally, the Court held that the provision was not substantively unconscionable despite its inclusion of a waiver of the right “to take any legal action” because it was not clear that potentially-unconscionable waiver was actually aimed at waiving substantive claims instead of just waiving the right to do so in court instead of arbitration.

Stride Staffing v. Holloway, No. 05-14-00811-CV

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