Mediation and Arbitration

16 January 2009

Citizens Bank v. Bryce: Trustee waived arbitration

Texas courts have eagerly enforced arbitration clauses, despite their typical unfairness to consumers and small businesses.  The Texas Supreme Court opened the door somewhat to challenging arbitration clauses when it overturned a large arbitration award against mega donor Bob Perry. In Citizens National Bank v. Bryce, the Tyler Court of Appeals relied on the Perry decision and found that the bank, sued as trustee for breach of fiduciary duty, waited too long to compel arbitration.  Specifically, the decision noted that the bank had participated in and sought discovery for twenty months prior to seeking to compel arbitration. It appeared that […]
11 April 2008

Mandatory arbitration

Arbitration has long been a feature of certain types of litigation.  I’ve seen mandatory arbitration clauses most extensively utilized in securities (client/broker), construction, employment, and general commercial disputes.  In my personal experience – which is shared by many attorneys on both sides of the bar – the oft-touted cost and time saving advantages of arbitration are highly overrated.  Filing and arbitrator fees can run into six figures in some cases, especially when a panel consists of three arbitrators. And that is apart from the attorney fees and expenses. In some cases, the expenses of arbitration prevent a plaintiff from pursuing […]