Law Firm Handbook Establishing An Arbitration Program Did Not Create Contractual Obligation To Arbitrate

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has rejected a law firm’s attempt to compel arbitration of former employees’ suit for wrongful termination, allegedly in retaliation for reporting their discovery of another employee overbilling a client.

In Seltzer v. Clark Associates, LLC d/b/a “Clark & Fox,” the court held that provisions in the firm’s employee handbook setting forth the contours of an arbitration program did not constitute an agreement to arbitrate, in light of provisions in the handbook that stated they “are not intended to create contractual obligations with respect to any matters it covers.”

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