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A Party’s Failure to Read or Understand the Terms of the Contract

Michael Paul Swisher Feb. 25, 2021

Litigation Stayed Pending Arbitration
Appellant’s challenges are legal, not factual, so the Court of Appeals applies a different standard of review from that which appellant cites. “[A] party may contractually relinquish fundamental and due process rights [,]” including jury trial, through an arbitration provision. A contract involving parties and goods from different States is within interstate commerce, so that contract is subject to the Federal Arbitration Act, and the Missouri Uniform Arbitration Act’s notice requirement will not invalidate the contract. The enforceability of a contract’s arbitration provision depends on the whole contract. To prove the existence of a contract, the parties’ conduct may be sufficient, a signature is not indispensable, and whether a party performed is not relevant. “A party’s failure to read or understand the terms of the contract is not a defense to enforcement of those terms [.]” Provisions expressly authorized by statute cannot, as a matter of law, be unconscionable.
David Holm vs. Menard, Inc.