First Circuit Vacates Grant of Motion to Compel Arbitration

First Circuit vacates grant of motion to compel arbitration, finding that the parties’ disagreement over which conflicting agreement applied required the district court to resolve the gateway question of arbitrability. McKenzie v. Brannan, No. 20-2170 (1st Cir. Nov. 22, 2021)[1]

Factual Background

American Pop Art artist Robert Indiana (“Indiana”) was famous for his distinctive “LOVE” image (with the L and titled O sitting atop the V and E). In 2008, Indiana entered into a publishing agreement with Plaintiff Michael McKenzie (“McKenzie”), an art publisher (the “2008 Agreement”). McKenzie collaborated with Indiana to create variations of Indiana’s image, like the word “HOPE” laid out in the same format as Indiana’s “LOVE” artwork…

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