A recent Florida case discussing a contractual arbitration provision in a homebuilder’s contract discussed the difference between a narrow arbitration provision and a broad arbitration provision. See Vancore Construction, Inc. v. Osborn, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D2769b (Fla. 5th DCA 2018). Understanding the distinction between the two types of arbitration provisions is important, particularly if you are drafting and/or negotiating a contractual arbitration provision.
A narrow contractual arbitration provision includes the verbiage “arises out of” the contract such that disputes arising out of the contract are subject to arbitration. Arbitration is required for those claims the have a direct relationship with the contract.
A broad contractual arbitration provision includes the verbiage “arises out of or relating to” the contract such that disputes arising out of or relating to the contract are subject to arbitration. Arbitration is required for those claims that have a significant relationship to the contract. A significant relationship exists if there is a nexus between the claim and the contract meaning the “claim presents circumstances in which the resolution of disputed issues requires either reference to, or construction of, a portion of the contract.” See Vancore Construction, Inc., supra, (citation omitted).
When drafting or negotiating an arbitration provision, make sure you understand those claims that will be subject to arbitration and those potential claims that will not. Typically, if you want a arbitration provision in your contract, you more than likely prefer a broad arbitration provision such that claims arising out of or relating to the contract will be subject to arbitration.
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