RSL Funding, LLC v. Pippins (Per Curiam)Annotate this Case
RSL Funding, LLC had arbitration agreements with three individuals (collectively, Individuals) who owned annuity contracts they agreed to sell to RSL or its designee. Neither RSL nor the Individuals had arbitration agreements with the companies that wrote the annuity contracts (collectively, MetLife). After MetLife refused to honor contracts by which the Individuals sold their annuities, RSL sued MetLife and the Individuals in the County Court at Law (CCL) for a declaratory judgment. A district court suit was also initiated involving the same parties and subject matter. The Individuals initially joined forces with RSL but disputes subsequently arose. RSL initiated arbitration with the Individuals and moved to stay the CCL suit pending completion of arbitration. The CCL denied the motion. The court of appeals affirmed, concluding that RSL waived its right to arbitrate through its litigation conduct in the trial courts. The First Circuit affirmed but on different grounds, holding (1) the court of appeals erred by determining that RSL waived its right to arbitrate by litigation conduct; but (2) RSL did not challenge a separate ground on which the trial court court have denied RSL’s motion to stay the litigation - that RSL failed to join its assignees in the arbitration.