Advocare GP, LLC v. Heath
Dallas Court of Appeals, No. 05-16-00409-CV (January 5, 2017)
Justices Lang, Myers (Opinion), and Evans
The Dallas Court of Appeals disagreed, writing: “We reject appellee’s contention that the arbitration provision’s use of the phrase ‘this Agreement’ narrows its application to literally ‘this Agreement,’ i.e., the NDA itself.” The NDA was specifically referenced in the offer letter, and the two agreements were signed at the same time, so the Court held they were effectively part of the same “Agreement.” Moreover, the Court noted the arbitration provision was written broadly to include all claims “in any way related to or involving” the Agreement and so should be construed to “embrace all disputes between the parties having a significant relationship to the contract.” Under that standard, and given that Advocare contended it terminated Heath for violating the NDA, all claims (including those in tort) were covered by the arbitration agreement.