The Ritz-Carlton Development Company, Inc. v. Narayan

U.S. Supreme Court – Arbitration Case Granted, Vacated, Remanded

Term: 2015 Term
Oral Argument Date:
Vote: GVR
Opinion: Per Curiam
Questions Presented: 

Whether the Hawaii Supreme Court’s use of a rule of contract construction that uniquely disfavors arbitration and that requires that ambiguity be resolved against arbitration is inconsistent with the Federal Arbitration Act.

U.S. Chamber's Position: 

In its brief with the National Association of Home Builders, the U.S. Chamber urged the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a decision by the Hawaii Supreme Court that refused to enforce an agreement to arbitrate based on a rule construing ambiguity in such agreements against arbitration. The brief explains that the Hawaii Supreme Court’s rule expressly disfavors arbitration, and that such judicial hostility toward arbitration is preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act. The brief urges summary reversal of the Hawaii Supreme Court’s decision.

Thomas R. McCarthy and J. Michael Connolly of Consovoy McCarthy Park PLLC served as co-counsel for the amici in this case.

Outcome Content: 

The Supreme Court granted the petition, vacated the judgment, and remanded to the Supreme Court of Hawaii for further consideration in light of DirecTV, Inc. v. Imburgia, 577 U. S. ___ (2015).

Procedural History: 

Cert. petition filed 10/1/2015. U.S. Chamber amicus brief filed 11/2/2015. Decided 1/11/2016.