Arkansas Supreme Court Holds Predispute Waiver of Right to Trial by Jury is Unenforceable Under Arkansas Law

By Trey Cooper

On December 7, 2017, the Arkansas Supreme Court delivered an opinion in which it held that a predispute contractual jury waiver clause is unenforceable under the Arkansas Constitution. Tilley v. Malvern National Bank, 2017 Ark. 343. This is important because it is now clear that a party cannot waive its right to a trial by jury by agreeing to do so in a contract. The Arkansas Constitution states that "the right to trial by jury shall remain inviolate, and shall extend to all cases at law, without regard to the amount in controversy; but a jury trial may be waived by the parties in all cases in the manner prescribed by law." Ark. Const. Art. 2, § 7. [More]