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Arbitrability Is for the Arbitrator to Decide

April 2, 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.

For more information, please contact the professional(s) listed below, or your regular Crowell & Moring contact.

David W. O'Brien
Retired Partner – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1.703.307.1977
David C. Hammond
Partner – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1.202.624.2510
Brian Tully McLaughlin
Partner – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1.202.624.2628