In Saks v. Rogers, a beneficiary of a trust challenged a trial court’s enforcement of an arbitration decision. No. 04-16-00286-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 6923 (Tex. App.—San Antonio July 26, 2017, no pet. history). The parties entered into a mediated settlement agreement (MSA) that included an arbitration agreement for “disputes aris[ing] with regard to the interpretation and/or performance of [the MSA] or any of its provisions, including the form of further documents to be executed . . . .” Id. Although not present at the mediation, the beneficiary provided another a power of attorney to act on her behalf for the MSA. Later, a party filed a motion to compel arbitration. The dispute went to arbitration, and the arbitrator issued certain findings and conclusions. The beneficiary then challenged the arbitrator’s decision because allegedly her complaints were not within the scope of the arbitration clause. The trial court enforced the arbitrator’s decision, and the beneficiary appealed.
The court of appeals concluded that the use of the language “disputes arise with regard to the interpretation and or performance of this Agreement or any of its provisions,” speaks to the broad nature of the arbitration agreement and that it was not limited to claims that literally arose under the agreement, but instead embraced all disputes between the parties that have a significant relationship with the agreement. The court then found that the beneficiary’s claims fell within the scope of the arbitration clause:
The MSA’s primary goal was the execution of documents regarding properties owned by the trust. At the heart of Landen’s dispute is the distribution of the trust’s corpus. In the previous appeal, Landen did not dispute the probate court’s order that she was a party to the MSA. Whether a conflict of interest exists regarding Appellees’ procurement of Landen’s power of attorney turns on any benefits Appellees might receive under the MSA. Similarly, whether any payment of monies to Appellees, under the MSA, involved elements of fraud also requires an evaluation of any monies owed under the MSA or the distribution of benefits stemming from the MSA. The probate court’s order, about which Landon complains, required her to execute documents under the trust. We conclude Landen failed to prove that her claims stand-alone from the MSA and that they are not “‘inextricably enmeshed’ with, or are ‘factually intertwined'” with the MSA and distributions from the trust.
Id. The court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s order enforcing the arbitrator’s opinion.