Close X
Attorney Spotlight

How did a clerkship with Judge Merritt change the way Chris Climo approaches the practice of law? Find out more>


Close X


Search our Experience

Experience Spotlight

Primary Care Providers Win Challenge of CMS Interpretation of Enhanced Payment Law

With the help and support of the Tennessee Medical Association, 21 Tennessee physicians of underserved communities joined together and retained Bass, Berry & Sims to file suit against the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to stop improper collection efforts. Our team, led by David King, was successful in halting efforts to recoup TennCare payments that were used legitimately to expand services in communities that needed them. Read more

Tennessee Medical Association & Bass, Berry & Sims

Close X

Thought Leadership

Enter your search terms in the relevant box(es) below to search for specific Thought Leadership.
To see a recent listing of Thought Leadership, click the blue Search button below.

Thought Leadership Spotlight

Download the Healthcare Fraud & Abuse Review 2017, authored by Bass, Berry & Sims

The Healthcare Fraud & Abuse Review 2017 details all healthcare-related False Claims Act settlements from last year, organized by particular sectors of the healthcare industry. In addition to reviewing all healthcare fraud-related settlements, the Review includes updates on enforcement-related litigation involving the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute, and looks at the continued implications from the government's focus on enforcement efforts involving individual actors in connection with civil and criminal healthcare fraud investigations.

Click here to download the Review.

Chris Lazarini Analyzes Right to Jury Under Section 4 of Federal Arbitration Act

Securities Litigation Commentator


November 22, 2016

Bass, Berry & Sims Chris Lazarini analyzed a case outlining when a party is entitled to have a jury decide issues related to the making or enforceability of an arbitration agreement. 

Chris provided the analysis for Securities Litigation Commentator (SLC). The full text of the analysis is below and used with permission from the publication. If you would like to receive additional content from the SLC, please visit the SLC website to sign up for the newsletter.

MetLife Securities, Inc. vs. Holt, No. 2:16-cv-32 (E.D. Tenn., 10/19/16) 

Under Section 4 of the Federal Arbitration Act, a jury trial may take place on issues related to the making or enforceability of the arbitration agreement where (a) the party challenging arbitration demands it, but only if the demand is made before or at the same time as the party files her initial opposition to the motion or (b) the court elects to specially call a jury. 

Respondent Holt opened four IRA accounts at MetLife. She signed one of the account applications and, at the direction of her MetLife representative, Mark Salyer (who was her son-in-law at the time), Ms. Holt's daughter signed the other three. Mr. Salyer later allegedly misappropriated Ms. Holt's funds. Ms. Holt sued MetLife and her son-in-law in state court, and MetLife moved to compel arbitration. The state court granted the motion as to claims related to the one account for which Ms. Holt signed the application and reserved ruling on the arbitrability of the other claims. Mr. Salyer's bankruptcy then delayed the state court proceeding for several years, after which MetLife renewed its motion to compel, prompting the state court to allow discovery on whether MetLife's arbitration provisions were unenforceable contracts of adhesion.

Apparently dissatisfied with the state court proceedings, and although the parties had commenced discovery there, MetLife petitioned this Court to compel arbitration of Ms. Holt's claims. Ms. Holt filed a response in opposition. The Court reached the same conclusion as the state court, granting the petition on those claims related to the one account for which Ms. Holt signed the application and ordering an evidentiary hearing on the enforceability of the arbitration provisions in the account applications Ms. Holt's daughter signed. Ms. Holt then filed a second response to MetLife's petition, in the form of an Answer, and also demanded a jury trial. MetLife moved to strike the jury demand, arguing that it was untimely.

The Court first examines the competing timing requirements within which a party must demand a jury trial. Under FRCP 38, the party's written demand must be served "no later than 14 days after the last pleading directed to the issue is served," while under FAA §4, the party must make the jury demand "on or before the return date of the notice of application" or rely on the Court's authority to "specially call a jury." The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not preempt the FAA, and become applicable in a motion to compel proceeding only when the FAA is silent. Since petitions to compel arbitration are treated procedurally as motions, not pleadings, the Court declines to recognize Ms. Holt's second response to the petition as a responsive pleading, calling it "a nullity in the record." Because Ms. Holt did not make her jury trial demand when she filed her original opposition papers, the Court finds the demand untimely under FAA §4 and strikes it. All is not lost for Ms. Holt, however, as the Court instructs the parties that it will conduct an evidentiary hearing to determine whether Ms. Holt has raised an issue of material fact regarding the enforceability of the arbitration clauses. If she has, then the FAA mandates a trial on the issues, and if that scenario develops, the Court advises, it will grant Ms. Holt leave to request that it exercise its discretion to specially call a jury.

The Court's order denying Ms. Holt's Rule 59 motion to alter or amend that part of the Court's original order compelling some of her claims to arbitration is discussed in SLA 2016-40. An interesting side note is that Ms. Holt claims the parties have agreed to mediate the case within 60 days of the state court's ruling on the arbitrability issues, regardless of who prevails on them. MetLife's federal court petition seems to be an effort to get around that alleged agreement.

Related Professionals

Related Services


Visiting, or interacting with, this website does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Although we are always interested in hearing from visitors to our website, we cannot accept representation on a new matter from either existing clients or new clients until we know that we do not have a conflict of interest that would prevent us from doing so. Therefore, please do not send us any information about any new matter that may involve a potential legal representation until we have confirmed that a conflict of interest does not exist and we have expressly agreed in writing to the representation. Until there is such an agreement, we will not be deemed to have given you any advice, any information you send may not be deemed privileged and confidential, and we may be able to represent adverse parties.