At The Podium
Enforceability of Contractual Jury Waivers in Oklahoma and Some Considerations When Drafting an Arbitration Clause
In August 2018, the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals ruled in Home Vest Capital, LLC v. Retirement Application Services, Inc., et al. that a right to a jury trial cannot be contractually waived, citing Article II, Section 19 and Article XXIII, Section 8 from the Oklahoma Constitution. While the decision represents a setback for many businesses that use contractual jury waivers, it should be noted that the court did distinguish stand-alone contractual trial jury waivers from contractual jury waivers that were coupled with an enforceable arbitration agreement. So where do parties who are interested in avoiding a jury trial go from here?
In his presentation at McAfee & Taft’s 2018 Corporate Counsel Seminar in Tulsa, Oklahoma, trial lawyer Michael Avery recaps the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals’ ruling, provides a rundown of the legal arguments currently being made to support the reversal of this decision, and reviews practical next steps for parties wanting to avoid a jury trial by means of arbitration. The presentation includes a discussion of issues that should be thoughtfully considered when drafting an arbitration provision.