Wootten v. Fisher Invs., Inc., No. 11-2476 (8th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Appellant initiated an arbitration against his former investment advisor, Fisher Investments, Inc. During the arbitration, the arbitrator (1) dismissed Appellant's Missouri statutory claims based on the arbitration agreement's Delaware choice-of-law provision, and (2) sua sponte prohibited Appellant from adding a federal securities law claim. Appellant then filed a civil action against Fisher Investments in federal district court, re-alleging the Missouri statutory and federal securities law claims and seeking a declaration that the arbitration agreement was void. The district court dismissed Appellant's claims without prejudice, concluding that Defendant had to complete arbitration before he could pursue remedies in federal court. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, holding (1) Appellant was challenging an interim ruling and thus the complete arbitration rule applied, and (2) because the complete arbitration rule applied, the district court did not err in deciding that it did not have jurisdiction to adjudicate Defendant's claims.