National Arbitration Forum out of business; court picks another arbitrator

Sadly, the National Arbitration Forum's withdrawal from consumer arbitration cases results in confusion and costly court appeals. Short story: A live-in housekeeper sued her employer on a variety of claims, and the employer moved to compel arbitration.

They had signed an arbitration agreement which said in part:

Any and all claims, disputes or controversies arising out of or related to Employee's employment by Employer shall be resolved exclusively by arbitration administered by the National Arbitration Forum under its code of procedure then in effect.

Small problem: National Arbitration Forum (NAF), after defending a few lawsuits, dropped out of the business of arbitrating consumer cases.

Easy solution: The court can appoint someone else. State statute provides for that. The arbitration agreement had a severability clause. And the gist of the agreement was that there be arbitration, not that there be arbitration conducted by NAF. (The trial court didn't think so, but the Virginia Supreme Court fixed that.)

Schuiling v. Harris (Virginia 09/12/2013).