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Texas: 14th Court of Appeals holds mediation agreement was improperly incorporated into final judgment of divorce.

In Woody v Woody, an agreement informally entered into in course of mediation in divorce action with respect to child support was improperly incorporated into final judgment of divorce. There was no signed, mediated settlement agreement and one of the parties withdrew their consent to informal agreement prior to rendition of judgment. Link here.

Texas: 5th Court of Appeals holds where arbitration provision was permissive, trial court correctly denied motion to arbitrate

In Texas Health Resources and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas d/b/a Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas v. Kruse, the Dallas Court of Appeals held that because an employers arbitration policy was permissive, and not mandatory and exclusive, the motion to compel arbitration was properly denied. Link here.

New York: Overcoming resistance to mediation in complex cases

New York is implementing a pilot program where 20% of commercial cases are ordered to mediation in the Commercial Division of the New York Supreme Court. Link here.

6th Circuit: Arbitration clause survives expiration of contract, even if not identified in survival clause

The Federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that an arbitration clause survives the expiration of a contract, even if it is not included in the survival clause. Link here

Article: Should you write discovery out of the arbitration agreement?

From Inside Counsel, two attorneys discuss whether parties should include limitations on discovery in their arbitration agreement and whether there times when a party should affirmatively stake out a right to discovery in the arbitration clause. Link here. 

California: Federal court won't allow Uber to use arbitration provision to limit class action suits

A federal judge in San Francisco ruled that Uber, creator of a taxi-service smartphone app, can't use an arbitration provision to block class action suits.  Link here.

California: Court finds requirement for parties to split costs of mediation isn't unconscionable

An agreement requiring pre-suit mediation with parties splitting the cost isn’t unconscionable on its face as a tax to be paid before accessing the court system. The court rejected the unconscionability argument, finding that it was reasonable to require the parties to split this expense. Link here.

Michigan: Judge scolds lawyers for using mediation materials in production of documents

A federal bankruptcy judge chastised City of Detroit lawyers for including confidential mediation documents on a computer disk of documents creditors sought in the city’s bankruptcy. Link here.

New York legislature considers law limiting arbitration in Title VII claims

The New York Assembly passed a bill limiting the use of arbitration for employment claims by businesses that contract with New York State. New York state agencies would be prohibited from contracting with businesses that require an employee or independent contractor working under the contract to arbitrate claims arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or any tort related to discrimination, sexual assault, or harassment. Link here.

Texas: Court vacates arbitration award because arbitrator took too long to issue ruling

Amarillo Court of Appeals vacates arbitration award because arbitrator took too long to issue his ruling. The arbitrator previously served as a mediator in this case, with the mediated settlement agreement containing a mediation/arbitration clause for future disputes. Link here

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