Outside Publication

Equitable Estoppel in the Context of Claims for Tortious Interference with Contractual Relations: Has the Texas Supreme Court Gone Too Far?, South Texas Law Review, Vol. 57


The United States Supreme Court has emphasized that, under the Federal Arbitration Act (the FAA), arbitration "is a matter of consent, not coercion,"' the FAA "does not require parties to arbitrate when they have not agreed to do so,'' and its purpose is "to make arbitration agreements as enforceable as other contracts, but not more so."

Texas courts, however, have disregarded these strictures through the doctrine of equitable estoppel. Generally speaking, Texas courts use the doctrine of equitable estoppel to compel arbitration of any dispute in which a plaintiff seeks to derive a "direct benefit" from a contract containing an arbitration clause, regardless of whether the parties to the dispute agreed to arbitrate with each other.

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