National Arbitration Forum Summarizes Significant Arbitration/Mediation Cases

Saturday, March 1, 2008 - 01:00

The National Arbitration Forum announces the release of the 2007 ADR Law & Policy Year in Review. The review names and summarizes what it considers the most significant arbitration and mediation cases of 2007.

Cases included in the Year in Review are:

Federal cases: Legair v. Circuit City Stores, Inc. (Sixth Circuit affirms sanctions against attorney who disregarded order to arbitrate); Pfannenstiel v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith (Tenth Circuit joins other circuits in recognizing doctrine of arbitral immunity applicable to arbitration providers and arbitrator); Ehleiter v. Grapetree Shores, Inc. (whether party has waived right to arbitrate by participating in litigation is presumptively a question for the court); Sanford v. MemberWorks, Inc. (Ninth Circuit holds that court, not arbitrator, must decide existence of underlying contract); Douglas v. United States District Court (Ninth Circuit: posting arbitration agreement on company's website does not constitute notice in an ongoing relationship); Winfrey v. Simmons Food, Inc. (California's mediation confidentiality rule does not bar evidence of oral settlement agreement reached at mediation), and Lozano v. AT&T Wireless Services, Inc. (court denies certification of national class based on need for state-by-state inquiry into enforceability of class waiver).

State cases: Bank of America, N.A. (USA) v. Dahlquist (FAA deadline for challenging awards only applicable to valid arbitration awards); Reigelsperger v. Siller (California Supreme Court unanimously enforces broad health care arbitration agreement that encompasses medical malpractice disputes); Covenant Health Rehab of Picayune, L.P. v. Brown (Mississippi law authorizes health care surrogates to agree to arbitration on patient's behalf); Hogan v. Country Villa Health Services (health care power of attorney authorizes attorney-in-fact to agree to arbitration on patient's behalf); Koons Ford of Baltimore, Inc. v. Lobach (Maryland's high court diverges from majority rule in holding that Magnuson-Moss claims are not subject to binding arbitration); Duke v. Graham (Utah law permits arbitrators to remove members of a limited liability company); Wagner Construction Co. v. Pacific Mechanical Corp. (arbitrator, not court, must decide whether statute of limitations bars claims that parties have agreed to arbitrate); Salley v. Option One Mortgage Corp. (exception for foreclosure proceedings does not render arbitration agreement unconscionable under Pennsylvania law); Scott v. Cingular Wireless (Washington Supreme Court rejects class action waiver as exculpatory in effect); Gentry v. Superior Court (California Supreme Court questions enforceability of class action waiver on public policy grounds), and Owens v. National Health Corp. (court holds health care arbitration agreement fair and enforceable).

The 2007 ADR Law & Policy Year in Review is a special edition of the National Arbitration Forum's ADR Law & Policy Update, a free, comprehensive weekly overview of case law, legislation, and regulations affecting the ADR community. For more information, visit