MERRILL LYNCH, PIERCE, FENNER & SMITH, INC. v. MCCOLLUM
Annotate this Case
469 U.S. 1127 (1985)
U.S. Supreme Court
MERRILL LYNCH, PIERCE, FENNER & SMITH, INC. v. MCCOLLUM , 469 U.S. 1127 (1985)
469 U.S. 1127
MERRILL LYNCH, PIERCE, FENNER & SMITH, INC.
Ernest M. McCOLLUM et al.
Supreme Court of the United States
January 7, 1985
Rehearing Denied Feb. 25, 1985.
See 470 U.S. 1024.
On petition for writ of certiorari to the Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourteenth Supreme Judicial District.
The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied.
Justice WHITE, with whom Justice BLACKMUN joins, dissenting.
This petition presents the question whether 3 of the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. 3, bars a court from issuing a tempo-
rary injunction pending arbitration of a contractual dispute. [Footnote 1] Respondent McCollum (hereafter respondent) is a former employee of petitioner Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith, Inc. The employment contract signed by Merrill Lynch and respondent provided that in the event that respondent's employment with Merrill Lynch was terminated, respondent would not be allowed to remove client lists from the premises of Merrill Lynch nor to solicit any of Merrill Lynch's clients for a period of one year from the date of termination. The contract also provided that "any controversy between [respondent] and Merrill Lynch arising out of [respondent's] employment, or the termination of [respondent's] employment with Merrill Lynch for any reason whatsoever shall be settled by arbitration at the request of either party . . . ."
Respondent left petitioner and obtained a position with one of petitioner's competitors. Alleging that respondent had violated the terms of his contract by absconding with petitioner's client lists and soliciting petitioner's clients, petitioner sued respondent for damages and injunctive relief in the District Court for Harris County, Texas. After entering a temporary restraining order enjoining respondent from any actions in violation of the contract, the District Court concluded that the dispute was arbitrable and that the court therefore lacked authority to adjudicate it. Accordingly, although the court was of the opinion that petitioner would have been entitled to injunctive relief but for the arbitration clause, the court dissolved its restraining order, denied petitioner's motion for a temporary injunction, and stayed all further proceedings in the action pending arbitration of the underlying dispute.
Petitioner appealed the District Court's order to the Texas Court of Appeals. Petitioner attacked the trial court's finding that the dispute was arbitrable, the denial of preliminary injunc- [469 U.S. 1127 , 1129]