Justia Arbitration & Mediation Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Nevada
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The Supreme Court held that the district court erred in denying Appellant's motion to compel arbitration and refusing to submit the arbitrability determination under the circumstances of this case to an arbitrator.Plaintiffs sued Airbnb, Inc. for wrongful death and personal injury alleging that Airbnb's services had been used by a party's host to rent the house where a shooting occurred, resulting in a fatality. Airbnb moved to compel arbitration, arguing that Plaintiffs had agreed to Airbnb's Terms of Service during the registration process for their accounts. The district court denied the motion to compel. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that because the Federal Arbitrability Administration governed the enforcement of arbitration agreement at issue, and because the agreement delegated the arbitrability question to an arbitrator, the district court erred in deciding the arbitrability question. View "Airbnb, Inc. v. Rice" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court denying Appellant's motion to compel arbitration, holding that where an arbitration agreement delegates the threshold question of arbitrability to the arbitrator, the district court must refer to the case to arbitration, even if the court concludes that the dispute is not subject to the arbitration agreement.Respondents filed a personal injury lawsuit against Uber after their Uber driver rear-ended another Uber driver. Uber moved to compel arbitration on the grounds that Respondents had agreed to arbitrate their claims. The district court denied the motion, concluding that the arbitration agreement did not plainly provide that the parties agreed to submit this particular dispute to arbitration. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that where the arbitration agreement's delegation clause expressly requires the arbitrator to determine threshold issues of arbitrability, the district court erred by denying Uber's motion to compel on the ground that the claims were not subject to the arbitration agreement. View "Uber Technologies, Inc. v. Royz" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court denying SR Construction, Inc.'s motion to compel arbitration because its master subcontract agreement (MSA) with Peek Brothers Construction, Inc. constituted a valid arbitration provision that applied to the parties' underlying dispute, holding that the dispute was arbitrable.On appeal, SR argued that the district court erred in holding that the underlying dispute fell outside the bounds of the parties' arbitration agreement.The Supreme Court agreed and reversed, holding (1) as applied, the MSA provision was broad, and an attendant presumption of arbitrability applied; and (2) Peek's dispute was presumptively arbitrable under the parties' agreement. View "SR Construction, Inc. v. Peek Brothers Construction, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court concluding that an arbitration provision was void under Nev. Rev. Stat. 597.995 for failure to include a specific authorization, holding that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), 9 U.S.C. 1 et seq., preempted section 597.955, and therefore, the district court's decision was erroneous.Nev. Rev. Stat. 597.995 requires any agreement that includes an arbitration provision to include a specific authorization for that provision. The district court concluded that the arbitration provision at issue in this case was void for failure to include a specific authorization, as required by section 597.995. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) because section 597.995 singles out and disfavors arbitration provisions by imposing stricter requirements on them than on other contract provisions, the FAA preempts the statute in cases involving interstate commerce; and (2) the district court erred by concluding that section 597.995 voided the parties' arbitration agreement. View "Maide, LLC v. Dileo" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court confirming an arbitration award in a commercial contract matter, holding that there was no error.The parties in this case were two newspapers with a lengthy contractual relationship. The parties' contract contained a provision submitting disputes arising out of the contract to binding private arbitration. A dispute arose over amounts owed under the parties' contract, and the matter was submitted to arbitration. After the arbitrator rendered an award, both parties sought to vacate portions of the award by arguing that the arbitrator's award was so egregiously wrong that the arbitrator had clearly failed to apply the contract at all. The district court confirmed the award. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court properly found that there was no clear and convincing evidence that the arbitrator had exceeded his powers, acted arbitrarily and capriciously, or manifestly disregarded the law. View "News+Media Capital Group LLC v. Las Vegas Sun, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court granted writ relief in this case concerning whether the district court has authority to intervene in binding arbitration to sanction a party's misconduct, holding that the district court improperly intervened in this matter.The parties agreed to Plaintiff filing a complaint, staying the action, selecting an arbitrator, and allowing the case to proceed through arbitration. After an improper sweep of Plaintiff's technology, Defendant filed a motion for discovery sanctions. The arbitrator fined Plaintiff but declined to strike Plaintiff's claims at that time, as requested by Defendant. Defendant then filed a motion in the district court for provisional relief, requesting that the court take action to remedy the misconduct. The district court found that it had the authority to address the issues raised in the motion. The Supreme Court granted Plaintiff's petition for writ relief, holding (1) where Nev. Rev. Stat. 38.222 provides limited authority to intervene in an arbitration only where the district court orders a provisional remedy and where the court did not order a provisional remedy in this case, the district court lacked authority under section 38.222 to intervene in the arbitration; and (2) the district court did not have inherent authority to intervene in the arbitration because the alleged litigation misconduct was squarely before the arbitrator. View "Direct Grading & Paving v. Eighth Judicial District Court" on Justia Law

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In this case brought by Plaintiffs seeking to enforce a settlement agreement the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court denying Defendants' motion to compel arbitration, holding that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempts Nev. Rev. Stat. 597.995, which requires agreements that include an arbitration provision also to include a specific authorization for the arbitration provision showing that the parties affirmatively agreed to that provision.The parties in this case entered into a settlement agreement that referenced a licensing agreement that included an arbitration provision. When Plaintiffs sued to enforce the settlement agreement Defendants filed a motion to compel arbitration and dismiss the complaint because the settlement agreement incorporated the licensing agreement's arbitration clause. The district court concluded that the arbitration provision was unenforceable because it did not include the specific authorization required by section 597.995. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the statute did not void the arbitration clause; and (2) the claims in the underlying complaint were subject to arbitration. View "MMAWC, LLC v. Zion Wood Obi Wan Trust" on Justia Law

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In this construction defect action brought by Homeowners, the Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court denying Defendant’s motion to compel arbitration, holding that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) did not govern the arbitration agreement contained in the common-interest community’s covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) because, contrary to the conclusion of the district court, the underlying transaction involved interstate commerce. Further, to the extent that Nevada case law concerning procedural unconscionability disfavors arbitration of disputes over transactions involving interstate commerce, that case law is preempted by the FAA. The Court remanded this case for entry of an order directing the parties to arbitration. View "U.S. Home Corp. v. Michael Ballesteros Trust" on Justia Law

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Judicial marshals are “peace officers” within the meaning of Nev. Rev. Stat. 289.040, 289.057 and 298.060, which provisions are intended to provide job-related protections to peace officers employed by law enforcement agencies, but the Eighth Judicial District Court (EJDC) is not a “law enforcement agency” as statutorily defined.Appellant, who was employed by the EJDC first as a bailiff and then as an administrative marshal, was terminated for misconduct. According to the terms of a written memorandum of understanding between the Clark County Marshal’s Union and the EJDC, Appellant’s appeal resulted in arbitration. The arbitrator upheld the EJDC’s decision to terminate Appellant. Appellant petitioned the district court to set aside the arbitrator’s decision, arguing that the EJDC violated his statutory rights under Nev. Rev. Stat. Chapter 289 by disclosing and relying upon his prior disciplinary history as justification for his termination. The district court denied the petition. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the provisions of Chapter 289 in this case did not apply to Appellant; and (2) Appellant failed to demonstrate that the arbitrator either exceeded his authority or manifestly disregarded the law. View "Knickmeyer v. State" on Justia Law

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The district court erred in granting a motion to vacate an arbitration award affirming a school district’s termination of a principal. The Supreme Court reversed the district court’s order granting Respondents’ motion to vacate the award, holding (1) the arbitrator did not exceed his authority as an arbitrator because his decision did not contradict the express language of the parties’ collective bargaining agreement; (2) the arbitrator did not manifestly disregard the law because he acknowledged Nev. Rev. Stat. 391.3116 and applied the statute in reaching his decision; and (3) the arbitration award was not arbitrary or capricious because substantial evidence supported the arbitrator’s findings. View "Washoe County School District v. White" on Justia Law