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American Bank Holdings, Inc. v. Kavanagh, et al.

August 5, 2020

Plaintiffs, former employees, filed a Complaint for Accounting against their former employer, contending that upon terminating their contracts of employment they were to receive certain funds from a loss reserve fund.  Defendant, in its Answer, asserted that the court lacked jurisdiction because Plaintiffs’ claims were subject to mandatory arbitration.  Defendant then filed a Petition to Compel Arbitration and Stay All Proceedings.  The trial court denied the Petition and the Defendant appealed.  The Court of Special Appeals dismissed Defendant’s appeal.  Defendant appealed that dismissal and the Court of Appeals affirmed the lower courts, holding that the denial of the Petition to Compel Arbitration filed in an existing action was not a final judgment under Section 12-301 of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article of the Maryland Code.  The Court of Appeals reasoned that the denial of a Petition to Compel Arbitration in an ongoing proceeding does not place the parties out of court, otherwise terminate the proceedings, or deny the party requesting arbitration the means of further prosecution or defending rights and interests in the subject matter of the proceeding.