CaseWILLIAM SCHUILING v. SAMANTHA HARRIS
(Record Number 121582)
FromThe Circuit Court of Fairfax County; L. Alden, Judge
CounselJohn D. McGavin and Michelle P. Bell (Bancroft, McGavin, Horvath & Judkins, P.C.)
Douglas B. Wessel (Wessel Law Offices)
Assignments of Error
- The trial court erred by holding that the statutory power to appoint an arbitrator whenever an arbitration agreement’s method of arbitration “fails or for any reason cannot be followed,” Va. Code Ann. § 8.01-581.03, is inapplicable when the agreement identifies a specific arbitration forum that subsequently becomes unavailable.
- The trial court erred in holding (based only on the language of the parties’ arbitration agreement, without presentation of any other evidence, and contrary to the established doctrine that ambiguities should be construed in favor of arbitration) that the arbitration agreement’s identification of the “National Arbitration Forum” (NAF) as the arbitration forum was an “integral” contract term, such that the parties’ arbitration agreement became unenforceable upon NAF’s inability to serve in that capacity.