Supreme Court Decision "Caught Most of Us Off Guard," Says Attorney

December 18, 2017

Attorney Robert Smith was interviewed by Arkansas Business regarding a recent Arkansas Supreme Court decision that determined pre-dispute contractual waivers of the right to a jury trial are unenforceable under the Arkansas Constitution.

Excerpt from "Harassers Put Employers In Legal Peril" in Arkansas Business

The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled earlier this month that contractual waivers of the right to a jury trial are not enforceable, triggering concerns from attorneys and business leaders because just about every commercial contract has a provision that contains that waiver.

The 4-to-3 decision, written by Associate Justice Karen R. Baker, “caught most people off guard,” said Robert T. Smith, a partner with Friday Eldredge & Clark, whose practice area focuses on banking and corporate matters.

He said nearly all residential mortgages and commercial loan contracts have the jury waiver clauses in them.

“So those are ineffective, as of that opinion under Arkansas law,” Smith said.

Robert is a partner with Friday, Eldredge & Clark, LLP, whose practice focuses on banking and corporate matters. His diverse corporate practice focuses on representing individuals, companies, and financial institutions in general business, transactional, securities and regulatory matters. He has handled transactions in a variety of industries including the banking, healthcare, broadcasting, retail, manufacturing, real estate and technology industries.

The information provided above is created by the attorneys in Banking and Finance Practice Group at Friday, Eldredge & Clark, LLP. This is not a substitute for legal advice and should be considered for general guidance only. For more information or if you have further questions, please contact one of ourBanking and Finance Attorneys.