St. Louis Rams' arbitrator-selection method is unconscionable

NFL Commissioner is "in a position of bias." The arbitration provision contained in the employment agreement entered into between Todd Hewitt and the St. Louis Rams provides for the arbitration of any dispute between the parties by the Commissioner of the National Football League, whose decision is final, binding, conclusive, and unappealable.

The Missouri Court of Appeals finds this to be unconscionable. State ex rel Hewitt v. Kerr (Missouri Ct App 10/22/2013).

Result: The trial court will appoint an arbitrator.

The court said:

[T]he Arbitration Provision entrusts the arbitration proceedings to the Commissioner, whose decision shall be final, binding, conclusive and unappealable. Here, the arbitrator is the designee of the Commissioner and the Commissioner owes his position to the teams comprising the NFL, which includes the Rams.

[W]e find an arbitration provision that allows the selection of the arbitrator, who must be unbiased, to be made solely by an individual who is in a position of bias, to be unconscionable and unenforceable.