Disputing Blog by Karl Bayer, Victoria VanBuren, and Holly Hayes
As readers may already know, litigation surrounding the “Deep Water Horizon” oil spill is well underway. In a later twist, a federal trial court in Louisiana granted a motion to stay litigation between Anadarko and BP and ordered the parties to arbitrate pursuant to an arbitration clause found in their Joint Operating Agreement. See In RE: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig.
BP had filed a motion to compel arbitration, however, Anadarko responded that BP had waived its right to arbitrate by defending the lawsuit in court. The court found that BP’s actions – examining a single Anadarko employee, serving three individual requests for production on other parties related to Anadarko, asking a few dozen questions at depositions of other parties related to Anadarko, and identifying four Anadarko witnesses on a non-binding list of potential witnesses- did not substantially invoke the judicial process. The court, accordingly, stayed Anadarko’s claims against BP and sent the parties to arbitration.
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