News & Noteworthy

Authored - NJ Contract Law Update - Agreements To Arbitrate May Be Enforceable Even In Surprising Contexts
DECEMBER 02, 2013 | Windels Marx - Commercial Litigation

In Moore v. Woman To Woman Obstetrics, 2013 WL 4080947 (N.J.App.Div. 2013), the Court held enforceable an arbitration agreement between a patient and a medical practice covering claims of medical malpractice. Although expressly viewing the contract as one of adhesion, the Court nonetheless found that unconscionability was not present, and that the arbitration clause was therefore enforceable. (Interestingly, the Court was willing to apply the arbitration clause to the unborn child's rights, but not to the husband's per quod rights1).

Moore teaches us that arbitration may be utilized in unusual contexts; although, as the complex and fact-intensive Moore Opinion demonstrates, predictability is hardly a certainty.

Moore also reiterated that basic contract defenses such as unconscionability may still be 'for the court', not 'for the arbitrator'.

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 and now in its third edition. His updates on New Jersey contract law are based on 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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