'Permissive' Wording Does Not Mandate Arbitration, Federal Judge Rules

  • Opinion

WASHINGTON, D.C. - An arbitration clause which states that the parties "may" submit disputes to binding arbitration should be read as permissive and does not require the parties to arbitrate all disputes, a federal judge has ruled. PCH Mutual Insurance Co. v. Casualty & Surety Inc., No. 08-282 (D. D.C.).

On Nov. 15, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied Casualty & Surety Inc.'s motion to compel arbitration of a dispute arising from its administrative services agreement with Casualty & Surety Inc.

In 2004, PCH, a risk retention group that provides coverage to …


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