Trent H. Hamoud


Interpretation of arbitration agreements continues to present unique and challenging issues in Missouri law. Arbitration is a mainstay of the wider field of alternative dispute resolution, seeking to merge the competing interests of would-be litigants in a speedier, less expensive, less formalized environment. Delegation provisions, however, serve as an additional analytical hurdle in determining when and what disputes can be rightfully sent to arbitration. At first glance, a seemingly irreconcilable dilemma is presented. Must assent to the arbitration agreement, and thus the delegation provision, exist before the dispute will be sent to arbitration? Or is the simple appearance of a delegation provision, combined with an absence of an explicit challenge to that same provision, per se sufficient to send the arbitrability dispute to the arbitrator?

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