Maria, a client of yours in Buffalo, New York, calls you up one day and says, “As you know, I am a contractor who specializes in repair of problems that arise in commercial buildings. I’m thinking of inserting a provision in all of my contracts that requires any dispute to first be mediated and then, if that doesn’t work, to be arbitrated by an arbitrator who is a member of the American Arbitration Association. However, I’m a little nervous as to whether the New York state courts will enforce these sorts of provisions, especially if they’re part of my form contract. Do me a favor: Please let me know what the New York courts’ attitudes have been to arbitration and mediation clauses and, in general, what the courts have said about the desirability of using ADR methods to settle disputes.”
Please read the following cases:
CB Richard Ellis, Inc. v. American Envtl. Waste Mgmt., 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20064 (1998) and
Dean Witter Reynolds v. Byrd, 470 U.S. 213, 218, 84 L. Ed. 2d 158, 105 S. Ct. 1238 (1985).
Please write a brief letter of about 500 words addressing Maria’s request. Please use applicable quotes and/or ideas from the two cases above in your letter.