Wednesday, February 21, 2007, 6:49 AM

COA: Proof of Receipt of Arbitration Provision Key To Having Provision Enforced

In Evangelistic Outreach Ctr. v. General Steel Corp., filed yesterday, the COA reminded parties who insert arbitration provisions in their contracts that they had better have proof that the other party to the contract has received the arbitration provision.

General Steel Corp. and Evangelical Outreach had contracted about the purchase of a prefabricated steel building. An arbitration provision was included on the back side of the contract. General Steel said it faxed both the front and back sides of the contract. Evangelical Outreach, however, said it received only the front side of the contract, and not the back side containing the arbitration provision. Evangelical Outreach said it neither received nor agreed to the arbitration provision.

The court refused to enforce the agreement and sent a reminder to businesses with arbitration clauses they want to be able to enforce: Be able to produce evidence that the other parties to your contracts received the arbitration provisions. For example, require a signature or initialing of the conditions pages containing the arbitration provisions.

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