Arbitration Successfully Avoided

6th Circuit Appellate Success on Arbitrability of Claims

Anthony Ostlund prevails in Michigan and the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals

Client Issue

Our client, Redwood Dental Group, a large Detroit-area dental practice, sued American Dental Partners of Michigan (ADP) alleging claims of breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, tortious interference with contract and/or prospective economic advantage, and unjust enrichment. ADP moved to dismiss Redwood's claims and to force it into private arbitration. Redwood felt strongly that its interests would be best served by having their dispute litigated in a courtroom before a local judge and jury. 

The Anthony Ostlund Approach

The question of whether arbitration was required was found in two contracts between Redwood and ADP: an asset purchase agreement that contained an arbitration provision, and a service agreement that did not.  Courts are famously pro-arbitration, so we knew it would be a challenge to keep our client out of arbitration and instead bring the case in court. We researched and analyzed the contracts and relevant case law closely in order to provide our client and the courts with a clear and compelling explanation for why the seemingly inconsistent provisions of the two contracts should be interpreted in a way that kept the dispute in court rather than arbitration. 

Result Achieved

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan ruled in favor of Redwood and held that ADP could not force Redwood to arbitrate its claims.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit agreed.  ADP appealed to the United States Supreme Court, but the Court declined to address the case.

Dental Associates, P.C. d/b/a Redwood Dental Group v. American Dental Partners of Michigan, L.L.C. and American Dental Partners, Inc.