• December 2, 2015

TiresTwo joint venturers are developing a technology using high-pressure sprayed water to pulverize car tires and create a powder usable in industrial applications. It’s another chapter in the endless battle of water vs. rubber vs. water. Then, after a few years, the joints between the venture, themselves, disintegrate. Litigation ensues.

Now, after more than a year of litigation in U.S. District  Court (D. Minn.), the Defendants have had a change of heart and they seek to stay the litigation in favor of arbitration.

Can they do that?

We’ll have to wait and see how the United States District Court (D. Minn.) decides the issue (U.S. District Court Judge Ann D. Montgomery, U.S. Mag. Judge Becky R. Thorson).

But I, for one, will be surprised if the Court permits the forum switch at this stage of the litigation. Regular readers know that I am not a big fan of arbitration in most cases. It is even more objectionable when a litigant appears to be using it simply to buy time, delay, or derail on-going litigation.

To me, the question is not whether the Court should deny the Defendants’ very late motion but whether the Court has the authority to and will award the Plaintiffs their requested legal fees. Our courts seem generally to be reluctant to award fees even when they have clear authority (and bases) for doing so.

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