by Liz Kramer
Stinson Leonard Street Construction Attorney, Liz Kramer analyzes Narayan v. The Ritz-Carlton Dev. Co., Inc., and the state of Hawaii's arbitration decision to conclude that parties did not form a clear arbitration agreement, but even if they did, they declared it unconscionable because it prohibited both discovery and punitive damages.
Kramer's original analysis of the case is discussed in The Dispute Resolver - Analysis of Development in Construction Law for Division 1 of the American Bar Association's Forum on Construction Law in regards to Litigation and Dispute Resolution, published on Tuesday, June 23, 2015.
If there is a continuum of state arbitration decisions, varying from hostile to arbitration on one end to rubber-stamping of arbitration on the other end, Kramer feels Hawaii just situated itself on the very hostile end, even further than California and Missouri. The importance of this case covers two important rules for drafters of arbitration clauses: make the agreement to arbitrate very clear and easy to find; and do not overreach when inserting arbitration provisions that favor your client.
Liz Kramer is a partner at Stinson Leonard Street LLP handling complex commercial disputes, often in the construction and franchise contexts. After litigating arbitrability on many occasions, Liz began blogging about arbitration law at www.arbitrationnation.com in addition to her law practice in 2011. Her blog has been recognized as one of the best in the nation by the ABA Journal for the past three years and educates thousands of lawyers each month about the Federal Arbitration Act and its interpretation.