Articles Posted in Arbitration & Mediation

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Plaintiff worked for the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority (ARHA) before being discharged for violating ARHA’s “absenteeism and tardiness policies.” Plaintiff filed a complaint in circuit court claiming that she had been improperly discharged. The circuit court denied Plaintiff’s request for reinstatement and her claim for money damages but held that Plaintiff was entitled to have her claims arbitrated under ARHA’s grievance procedure. The Supreme Court reversed and entered final judgment in favor of ARHA, holding that the circuit court misapplied Va. Code 15.2-1507(A)(7)(b) and erred in ordering ARHA to arbitrate Plaintiff’s grievance. View "Alexandria Redevelopment & Housing Auth. v. Walker" on Justia Law

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In 2007, Schuiling hired Harris as his full-time, live-in housecleaner. Harris signed an arbitration agreement, a one-page, pre-printed form prepared for Schuling’s auto business, stating that disputes “shall be resolved exclusively by arbitration administered by the National Arbitration Forum under its code of procedure then in effect.” In 2011, Harris sued Schuiling, alleging multiple torts, statutory violations, and breach of contract. Schuiling moved to enforce arbitration under Code § 8.01-581.02(A), stating that the National Arbitration Forum was no longer available and requesting the court to appoint a substitute arbitrator under Code § 8.01-581.03. Harris argued that unavailability of the named arbitrator, coupled with the agreement’s failure to provide for a substitute arbitrator, rendered the agreement unenforceable. The circuit court agreed with Harris and denied the motion to compel arbitration. The Virginia Supreme Court reversed. Relying on the intention of the parties as expressed in the language of the agreement, the court concluded that NAF’s designation as arbitrator was not integral and was severable in order to give effect to the arbitration requirement, the sole purpose of the agreement. View "Schuiling v. Harris" on Justia Law

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After Roger Hudspeth's employment with the Bank of the Commonwealth was terminated, Hudspeth filed a complaint against the Bank, alleging the Bank failed to pay him compensation owed for his employment. The Bank filed a motion to stay and compel arbitration before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), arguing (1) the Bank was a "customer" as defined by the FINRA Code of Arbitration Procedure for Customer Disputes (Customer Code), (2) Hudspeth was an associated person of a "member," and (3) because the dispute was between a customer and an associated person of a member, arbitration was mandatory under the Customer Code. The circuit court denied the Bank's motion, concluding that the Bank was not a customer under the Customer Code. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the Customer Code was susceptible to an interpretation under which the Bank could be considered a customer, and (2) because under the Federal Arbitration Act any doubts concerning the scope of arbitrable issues should be resolved in favor of arbitration, the circuit court erred when it denied the Bank's motion in this case. Remanded. View "Bank of the Commonwealth v. Hudspeth" on Justia Law