Court of Appeals of Texas, Thirteenth District, Corpus Christi-Edinburg
appeal from the 139th District Court of Hidalgo County,
Justices Rodriguez, Longoria and Hinojosa.
L. LONGORIA Justice.
PlainsCapital Bank (PCB) challenges an order denying its
motion to compel arbitration of its claims against appellees
Blanca E. Gonzalez and Jose S. Rodriguez. We reverse and
2009, Gonzalez and Rodriguez executed separate, unsecured
promissory notes, each in the amount of $250, 000, payable to
First National Bank. The notes contained identical clauses
requiring the parties to submit certain disputes to binding
You or I may submit to binding arbitration any dispute, claim
or other matter in question between or among you and me that
arises out of or relates to this Transaction (Dispute),
except as otherwise indicated in this section or as you and I
agree to in writing. For purposes of this section, this
Transaction includes this Note and the other Loan Documents,
and proposed loans or extensions of credit that relate to
. . . .
The arbitrator will determine whether a Dispute is
arbitrable. A single arbitrator will resolve any Dispute,
whether individual or joint in nature, or whether based on
contract, tort, or any other matter at law or in equity. The
arbitrator may consolidate any Dispute with any related
disputes, claims or other matters in question not arising out
of this Transaction. Any court having jurisdiction may enter
a judgment or decree on the arbitrator's award. The
judgment or decree will be enforced as any other judgment or
. . . . The United States Arbitration Act will govern the
interpretation and enforcement of this section.
The American Arbitration Association's Commercial
Arbitration Rules in effect on the date of this Note, will
govern the selection of the arbitrator and the arbitration
process, unless otherwise agreed to in this Note or another
years later, First National Bank failed and was closed by the
federal government. PCB acquired both notes as part of an
agreement with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to
purchase or assume some of First National Bank's assets.
October 2015, PCB filed separate lawsuits against each
appellee alleging that each had defaulted. PCB sought to
recover the outstanding balance on each note plus interest,
costs, and attorney's fees. The trial court granted
Gonzalez's unopposed motion to consolidate both cases
under a single case number. Appellees jointly asserted four
affirmative defenses and a counterclaim for declaratory
relief that the loans were illegal and therefore invalid.
Appellees also named Saul Ortega-the President of First
National Bank at the time appellees signed the notes-as a
third-party defendant and asserted causes of action against
him for fraud and negligence.
a year later, appellees served on PCB a notice of oral
deposition of PCB employee Tony Fernandez. PCB filed a motion
to quash the notice and, a few days later, a motion to compel
appellees to arbitration. Appellees responded that PCB had waived
its right to arbitration and that appellees'
counterclaims fell outside the scope of the arbitration
clause. The trial court denied PCB's motion to compel
without stating its reasons. This interlocutory appeal
followed. By order of January 9, 2017, this Court stayed all
further proceedings in the trial court.
asserts in two issues that the trial court erred because: (1)
the parties agreed to arbitrate any disputes over the scope
of the arbitration agreement; and (2) PCB did not waive its
right to arbitrate as a matter of law.
Standard of Review ...