Specificity in Arbitration Provisions Is a Good Thing…Except When It Isn’t

Vagueness, ambiguity, and silence in arbitration provisions are generally to be avoided so that you don’t have to try a case that should be arbitrated. As the Indiana Court of Appeals recently held, though, being too specific in an arbitration provision can sometimes be just as dangerous.

In Geneva-Roth v. Edwards, the Court of Appeals considered an arbitration provision that specified that the arbitration “shall” be conducted by the National Arbitration Forum (“NAF”). Problem was, the NAF was no more. Since, in the Court’s view, the NAF as arbitrator was integral to the parties’ agreement, the Court agreed with the trial court that the arbitration provision was null and void on grounds of impossibility.

About Brian Jones

I represent clients in all aspects of business litigation, but focus my practice on complex litigation and arbitration matters concerning insurance and reinsurance, antitrust, class actions, securities, real estate disputes, and contract matters. I am the co-chair of the Bose McKinney & Evans Insurance Group. I was listed in the 2017 and 2016 "Best Lawyers in America" for Insurance Coverage and named a "Rising Star" in Insurance Coverage by Super Lawyers in Indiana in 2014. I was also named a "Rising Star" in Business Litigation by Super Lawyers in Indiana in 2013 and 2012, and a 2010 “Rising Star” in Business Litigation in Texas. I am a member of the State Bars of Indiana and Texas, the Defense Research Institute, a former member of the Pro Bono College of the State Bar of Texas, and I am licensed to practice before all state courts in Indiana and Texas, as well as all federal courts in Indiana, the Northern, Western, and Southern Districts of Texas, the Northern District of Illinois, and the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fifth, Seventh, and Eleventh Circuits. I received my bachelor’s degree, cum laude, in political science and my master’s degree in teaching from Trinity University, where I was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. I received my doctor of jurisprudence degree from the University of Texas School of Law, where I was the Director of Communications for the Legal Research Board and a member of the Phi Delta Phi Honor Society. Before attending law school, I taught high school geography, government and economics in San Antonio, Texas.
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1 Response to Specificity in Arbitration Provisions Is a Good Thing…Except When It Isn’t

  1. Pingback: Third Circuit Hands Khan Loss in Arbitration Case, Maroons Him in Legal Equivalent of Seti Alpha 6 | The Bose Litigation Blog

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