Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Illiteracy Not Sufficient To Defeat Arbitration Agreement Under Mississippi Law

This is not an employment decision, but an issue that occasionally arises where an employer requires an arbitration agreement as a condition of employment. Applying Mississippi state law the 5th Circuit overruled a district court's denial of a motion to compel arbitration because the plaintiff was illiterate. Washington Mutual Finance Co. v. Bailey (5th Cir. 3/19/04) [pdf]. Citing an old but still good Mississippi Supreme Court decision, the Court found there could not be two laws of contracts, one for the educated and one for the uneducated. I think most states would take a similar view.


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