Campbell v General Dynamics (II)

By John Ottaviani

Eric pointed out that I neglected to mention in my post yesterday this case is actually one of the few reported “E-SIGN” decisions.

The district court had questioned whether or not an e-mail agreement to arbitrate satisfies the Federal Arbitration Act’s “written provision” requirement in 9 U.S.C. Section 2. The First Circuit unequivocably found that an e-mail “properly couched” can be an appropriate method of forming an arbitration agreement. “By its plain terms, the E-Sign Act prohibits any interpretation of the FAA’s “written provision” requirement that would preclude giving legal effect to an agreement solely on the basis that it was in electronic form.”

In other words, General Dynamics lost because the content of its e-mail was not clear enough, not because it sent the notice out by e-mail.