Rule 202 petition does not confer jurisdiction on trial court to enter order compelling arbitration over objection of the other party, Dallas Court of Appeal says in case in which it also awards mandamus relief against the trial court's order permitting Rule 202 discovery (presuit discovery to investigate claim, here female attorney's sex discrimination claim against law firm in which she was partner on equal pay issue).
Patton Boggs, LLP v. Kate Moseley (Tex.App.- Dallas, Dec. 29, 2011)
EXCERPT FROM OPINION BY JUSTICE ROBERT M. FILLMORE
Appellant Patton Boggs filed this interlocutory appeal challenging the trial court's denial of its motion to compel arbitration. See Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 51.016 (West Supp. 2011) (appeal or writ of error to the court of appeals from the judgment or interlocutory order of a district court in a matter subject to Federal Arbitration Act); Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 171.098(a)(1) (West 2011) (party may appeal an order denying an pplication to compel arbitration under section 171.021); see Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 171.021(a) (West 2011) (court shall order parties to arbitration on application of a party showing an agreement to arbitrate and the opposing party's refusal to arbitrate). See Footnote 7 In its sole issue on appeal, Patton Boggs contends the trial court erred by denying Patton Boggs's motion to compel arbitration and to stay the rule 202 proceedings.
Moseley responds that the trial court lacked jurisdiction over Patton Boggs's motion to compel arbitration filed in the rule 202 proceeding. We agree. Because the only proceeding before the trial court was a rule 202 petition, the trial court had no jurisdiction to grant a motion to compel arbitration absent an agreement between the parties that the motion should be granted. See In re Southwest Sec., Inc., No. 05-99-01836-CV, 2000 WL 770117, at *2 (Tex. App.-Dallas, June 14, 2000, orig. proceeding.) (not designated for publication). The trial court lacked jurisdiction to compel arbitration in the rule 202 proceeding. Accordingly, we dismiss this interlocutory appeal for lack of jurisdiction. Tex. R. App. P. 42.3(a).
We conditionally grant the petition for writ of mandamus and order the trial court to vacate the portions of its August 15, 2011 order that grant Moseley's rule 202 request to take depositions and that grant in part Moseley's request for production of documents. A writ will issue only in the event the trial court fails to vacate the portions of its August 15, 2011 order that grant Moseley's rule 202 request to take depositions and that grant in part Moseley's request for production of documents in conjunction with those depositions.
We dismiss this interlocutory appeal for lack of jurisdiction.
SOURCE: DALLAS COURT OF APPEALS - 05-11-01097-CV - 12/29/11