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Arbitration Clause Survives Termination of Contract
Description When litigation was threatened after ending a contract, parties signed a new agreement to continue working. The new contract replaced most of the old one. When another dispute arose, appeals court held that since the second contract did not expressly end the arbitration clause, it still applied to matters that carried back to the original contract.
Topic Alternate Dispute Resolution
Key Words Arbitration Agreement
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts After Riley and Anchor ended a contract relationship that contained an arbitration clause, Riley threatened to sue Anchor for copyright infringement. The parties reached a "Settlement Agreement" for the two to continue working together. The agreement included this term: "This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement of the parties hereto and cancels, terminates and supersedes any and all prior ... agreements relating to the subject matter thereof." Later, Riley sued Anchor on various grounds, including copyright infringement and breach of contract, referring to the Settlement Agreement. Riley contended the arbitration clause was extinguished by the Settlement Agreement, so the matter would be litigated. The district court agreed. Anchor appealed.
Decision Reversed. "Under the federal common law of arbitrability, an arbitration provision in a contract is presumed to survive the expiration of that contract unless there is some express or implied evidence that the parties intend to override this presumption... Thus, when a dispute arises under an expired contract that contained a broad arbitration provision, courts must presume that the parties intended to arbitrate their dispute. This is so even if the facts of the dispute occurred after the contract expired."
Citation Riley Manufacturing Co. v. Anchor Glass Container Corp., F.3d (1998 WL 601098, 10th Cir.)
157 F. 3d 775 (10th Cir., 1998)

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