Henry Schein, Inc., Petitioner v. Archer and White Sales, Inc.

Summarized by:

  • Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
  • Area(s) of Law: Arbitration
  • Date Filed: June 15, 2020
  • Case #: 19-963
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: 935 F.3d 274 (5th Cir. 2019)
  • Full Text Opinion

Whether a provision in an arbitration agreement that exempts certain claims from arbitration negates an otherwise clear and unmistakable delegation of questions of arbitrability to an arbitrator.

The Federal Arbitration Act enables parties to elect arbitration as a means of solving disputes by normalizing arbitration as opposed to seeking out the court for the solving of disputes. First Options of Chicago, Inc. v. Kaplan, 514 U.S. 938, 944 (1995), established that arbitrators may “arbitrate arbitrability” so long as parties make it “clear and unmistakable” that their intent is to bypass the court in making the arbitrability decision. After a dispute arose between Petitioner and Respondent’s agreement, Petitioner moved for arbitration per the terms of the agreement. Petitioner’s motion was granted, then vacated, and the court of appeals affirmed. Petitioner then filed for a stay of further proceedings with the Supreme Court of the United States where the Court vacated the court of appeals’ judgement and remanded for the court of appeals to decide if the parties actually intended the arbitrability issue to be decided by an arbitrator. The court of appeals found it was not clear whether there was a carve-out provision, therefore once the stay was cleared, Petitioner filed for another stay which is at issue here. Petitioner argues that the country is split on this question and the Court must provide guidance. Additionally, Petitioner argues that the lower court’s reasoning runs afoul to the principle that the intentions of the parties should be adhered to.

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