Court Emphasizes Judiciary’s Role In Determining Whether Parties Entered Into Agreement To Arbitrate

The New Jersey Appellate Division has issued an opinion which provides exceptionally good guidance regarding the court’s role in determining whether parties entered into an enforceable arbitration agreement. In Knight v. Vivint Solar Developer, LLC, the Appellate Division remanded to the trial court with an admonition that, while issues regarding the scope of an arbitration agreement may be for the arbitrator, the court is required to determine whether the parties contracted. Where there are legitimate factual disputes, the court must “resolve[ ] the issues of fact pertaining to the formation of the arbitration provision, and determine[ ] the parties agreed to arbitrate their claims.”

The opinion also is insightful in its discussion of the factual issues concerning contract formation, and serves to educate attorneys on the importance of thoroughly addressing such factual matters.

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