Mr. Ragab sued two financial companies and a corporate officer for misrepresentation and for violating several consumer credit repair statutes. There were six agreements between the parties, including, for example, a consulting agreement, a purchase agreement, and an operating agreement. Each agreement contained arbitration provisions, but they varied in material ways, including: (1) which rules governed, (2) how the arbitrator would be selected, (3) the notice required to arbitrate, and (4) entitlement to attorney's fees. The district court refused to compel arbitration, concluding that there was no meeting of the minds on essential terms, and therefore no actual agreement to arbitrate. On appeal, a divided panel of the Tenth Circuit affirmed, distinguishing cases where the contracts provided for a solution to resolve conflicting provisions, or where contracts failed to spell out the requirements for arbitration; where, as here, there are multiple, specific, conflicting arbitration provisions with no agreed way to resolve them, "there was no meeting of the minds with respect to arbitration." The court also rejected the defendants' argument that the district court should have granted a summary trial to decide whether the parties agreed to arbitrate. The court held that in this case there were no material factual disputes, leaving only an issue of law for the court to resolve. , Case No. 15-1444 (10th Cir. Nov. 21, 2016).
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.