The Second Department determined the parties had entered an agreement to arbitrate and, because interstate commerce was involved, federal arbitration law applied. A New York architectural firm was hired re: the renovation and construction of buildings in Connecticut:
As a threshold matter, the defendants are correct in asserting that this action is governed by the Federal Arbitration Act (hereinafter the FAA) (9 USC § 1 et seq.), which applies to any arbitration agreement evidencing a transaction involving interstate commerce (see 9 USC § 2). * * *
Through the FAA, Congress has declared “a strong federal policy favoring arbitration as an alternative means of dispute resolution” … . In accordance with this policy, doubts as to the arbitrability of a claim are to be resolved in favor of arbitrability … .
On the other hand, arbitration is “a matter of consent, not coercion” … and “a party cannot be required to submit to arbitration any dispute which [it] has not agreed so to submit” … . Under the FAA, the determination as to whether the parties have entered into an agreement to arbitrate is made by applying ordinary state law principles governing the formation of contracts… . Highland HC, LLC v Scott, 2014 NY Slip Op 00089, 2nd Dept 1-8-14