In Bison Building Materials, Ltd. v. Lloyd K. Aldridge, No.06-1084, _S.W.3d __ (Tex. April 20, 2012) the issue is whether an appellate court has jurisdiction over an appeal from a trial court order confirming an arbitration award in part and vacating the award in part based on the existence of unresolved questions of law or fact necessary to a ruling, yet the trial court did not expressly direct a rehearing.
The Texas Supreme Court concluded that, unless specifically authorized by statute, the appellate court only had jurisdiction to review final judgments under Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 51.014. The court stated that the order was not final because “it does not contain finality language, state that it is a final order, or dispose of all claims and parties.”
The court also found that the Texas Arbitration Act (TAA) did not apply because the arbitration agreement was not signed by the parties’ attorneys, as required by Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 171.002(a)(3), (b)(2). Section 171.002(a) of the TAA states that Chapter 171 “does not apply to . . . a claim for personal injury,” unless the agreement is signed by both parties’ attorneys.
Finally, the court noted that the parties did not seek review of the issue by mandamus. The court reasoned that granting review of an incomplete Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) arbitration by mandamus would have likely granted the matter a greater scope of review in Texas than would have been granted in a federal appellate court. Therefore, the court affirmed the court of appeals’ judgment and, for different reasons, dismissed the case for want of jurisdiction.