by Michael Fox
Reversing a Tennessee trial judge who among other things thought philosophically that Title VII cases should be in court, the 6th Circuit generally upholds an arbitration agreement. The one caveat has to do with possible cost splitting. The agreement which incorporated AAA's cost structure was sent back to the district court to see if plaintiff can show it would be prohibitively expensive. The Court also rejected the employer's offer to pay the costs, agreeing with the 11th Circuit that allowing post contractual modification would only encourage employers to put in onerous provisions. Still, with care about the cost splitting provisions, it is basically a green light for arbitration in the 6th Circuit. Cooper v. MRM Investment, Inc. (6th Cir. 5/3/04) [pdf].