Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Motion to Compel Arbitration: Standard of Review

When will a motion to compel arbitartion succeed? What is the standard of review on appeal if the trial court denied a motion to compel arbitration? POINT OF LAW: Standard of Review for Motion to Compel Arbitration [A] party attempting to compel arbitration must establish that the parties agreed to arbitrate and that the dispute falls within the scope of the arbitration agreement. See Tex. Civ. Prac.& Rem. Code Ann. § 171.021(a); J.M. Davidson, Inc., 128 S.W.3d at 227. If the party opposing arbitration denies the existence of an agreementto arbitrate, the question is determined by the court as a matter oflaw. Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 171.021(b); J.M. Davidson, Inc.,128 S.W.3d at 227. We review the trial court's legal determinations denovo and its factual determinations under a “no evidence” standard.Trammel v. Galaxy Ranch School, L.P. (In re Trammel), 246 S.W.3d 815,820 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2008, no pet.). In reviewing the trial court'sfactual determinations, we must credit favorable evidence if areasonable fact-finder could and disregard contrary evidence unless areasonable fact-finder could not. Id. (citing Kroger Tex. Ltd. v.Suberu, 216 S.W.3d 788, 793 (Tex. 2006) and City of Keller v. Wilson,168 S.W.3d 802, 807 (Tex. 2005)). However, when the facts relevant tothe arbitration issue are not disputed, we are presented only withissues of law and we review the trial court's order de novo. Trammell,246 S.W.3d at 820. When parties agree to arbitrate and the agreementencompasses the claims asserted, the trial court must compel arbitrationand stay litigation pending arbitration. See Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. CodeAnn. § 171.021(b); Meyer v. WMCO-GP, LLC, 211 S.W.3d 302, 305 (Tex.2006). SOURCE: Per Group, LP v. Dava Oncology, LP, No. 05-08-01582-CV (Tex.App.- Dallas Aug 19, 2009)

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