GLLLP obtains arbitration win for client Farney Daniels

On October 29, 2018, New York State Supreme Court Justice Carol Edmead dismissed an action brought against GLLLP client Farney Daniels, P.C., a leading Texas-based law firm, that sought to circumvent an on-going Texas arbitration between Farney Daniels and the plaintiff. In dismissing the lawsuit against Farney Daniels, Justice Edmead agreed with Farney Daniels that the plaintiff failed to adhere to the 20-day time limit set forth in CPLR 7503 governing stays of arbitration. Because the plaintiff did not seek such a stay within the required 20-day limit, his attempt to derail the Texas arbitration was untimely as a matter of law. Further, the Court rejected the plaintiff’s argument that because the Farney Daniels arbitration demand did not provide notice of the 20-day limit, the plaintiff was not required to abide by that limit. Adopting the Farney Daniels position on that issue and rejecting the plaintiff’s position in its entirety, Justice Edmead held that since the laws of Texas, where the arbitration is taking place, and the rules of the American Arbitration Association, which is administering the arbitration, have no such notice obligation, Farney Daniels could not be faulted for not providing notice it was not obligated to provide. In other words, the Court held, the plaintiff could not unilaterally impose on Farney Daniel an obligation that does not exist as a matter of law. Justice Edmead also agreed with Farney Daniels that because the plaintiff was actively participating in the arbitration, it could not very well seek to stay the arbitration. Accordingly, underscoring “New York’s policy preference in favor of arbitration,” Justice Edmead granted the Farney Daniels motion to dismiss the action and denied the plaintiff’s petition to stay the Texas arbitration.

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