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Current Developments in the Commercial Divisions of the
New York State Courts by Schlam Stone & Dolan LLP
Posted: June 27, 2021

Where Arbitration Provision is Broad, it is for the Arbitrator, not the Court, to Determine Arbitrability

On June 17, 2021, the First Department issued a decision in Strongbow Consulting Group LLC v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, 2021 NY Slip Op. 03929, holding that where an arbitration provision is broad, it is for the arbitrator, not the court, to determine arbitrability, explaining:

Where, as here, the parties have a broad arbitration clause and the rules under which they agree to arbitrate provide for the arbitrator to decide arbitrability, those issues are not for the court. The court’s role in such a case is solely to ascertain that a valid agreement to arbitrate has been reached, applying contract law principles. Plaintiff’s contentions all go to the scope of the arbitration clause, not its existence or validity. Thus, the matter was properly sent to arbitration, and the action stayed.

(Internal citations omitted).

Commercial litigation involves more than courts. Disputes often are–by agreement–decided by private arbitrators. Contact Schlam Stone & Dolan partner John Lundin at jlundin@schlamstone.com if you or a client have a question regarding a dispute that is subject to an arbitration agreement.

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