The Court has requested merits briefing in four cases:

  • Progressive County Mut. Ins. Co. v. Kelley, No. 08-0073. This insurance case raises a couple of interesting contract questions and warrants its own post.

  • Target Corp. v. MRO Southwest, Inc., No. 08-0105. In this rather tangled construction dispute, the court of appeals rejected Target’s attempt to enforce an indemnity provision and to thereby recover its attorney’s fees.

  • In re Weeks Marine, Inc., No. 08-0107. This is another arbitration mandamus, although the underlying case does have the complication of determining whether a party is a “seaman” and thus excluded from the FAA. But… given that the relator is the company and not the employee, it looks like this petition concerns the one issue that the court of appeals left open for the trial court to decide — procedural unconscionability, that is, how the contract was procured, not necessarily its substantive terms.

    In the court of appeals, Weeks Marine contended that this “procedural unconscionability” attack was directed to the signing of the contract as a whole and thus was an issue for the arbitrator; the court of appeals held that the attack was directed at the unconscionability of how the arbitration provision was obtained and thus was an issue for the trial court.

    What’s a little odd is that both may be right — the contract is titled “Claim Arbitration Agreement”.

  • Gulf Ins. Co. v. Hennings, No. 08-0202. See this earlier post.