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Arbitrability Is for the Arbitrator to Decide

Apr.02.2013

In U.S. ex rel. Beauchamp v. Academi Training Center, Inc. (E.D. Va. Mar. 29, 2013), in which C&M represented the defendant, the court, after dismissing both FCA claims a week earlier, stayed the relators' retaliation claims, despite their allegations that the arbitration provision in their independent contractor agreements were unconscionable and that arbitrability was for the court to decide. The court held that the parties had delegated the question of arbitrability to the arbitrator with "clear and unmistakable intent" by incorporating the AAA Commercial Rules into the agreements, a delegation which relators failed to challenge, thus leaving it to the arbitrator to decide whether other terms of the agreements made the arbitration provision unconscionable and unenforceable.


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David W. O'Brien
Partner – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2850
Email: dobrien@crowell.com
Richard L. Beizer
Partner – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2590
Email: rbeizer@crowell.com
David C. Hammond
Partner – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2510
Email: dhammond@crowell.com
Brian Tully McLaughlin
Partner – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2628
Email: bmclaughlin@crowell.com