News & Noteworthy

Authored - NJ Contract Law Update - Under a Broad Arbitration Clause, Everything Except the Validity of That Clause is Arbitrable
JANUARY 11, 2013 | Windels Marx - Commercial Litigation

In Nitro-Lift Technologies, L.L.C. v. Howard, ___ U.S. __, __ S.Ct. __ 2012 WL 5895686 (Nov. 26, 2012), the United States Supreme Court reaffirmed the law that in the face of a broad arbitration clause, the court should step back and decide only the validity of the arbitration clause itself. Our nation's highest Court therefore reversed the Oklahoma Supreme Court's decision to address the merits of a non-competition clause that should have been arbitrated. The United States Supreme Court reaffirmed the supremacy of the Federal Arbitration Act in this regard; overruling what the Oklahoma Supreme Court felt was clear state law, and finding that law irrelevant.

Although Nitro-Lift arose in another State, its holding is based on federal arbitration law, and thus is equally applicable to all jurisdictions.

Contact & Legal Disclaimer

Clark Alpert is the author of Guide to New Jersey Contract Law, published by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, originally published in 2007 and updated in November 2011. His updates on New Jersey contract law are based in recent issues and practical methods for addressing similar situations in your practice or business. They are not intended to serve as legal advice. Clark welcomes your questions and comments.

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