White v. Kampner
In White v. Kampner, 229 Conn. 465, 641 A.2d 1381 (Conn. 1994), the Connecticut Supreme Court affirmed the trial court's decision that the mandatory negotiation clause in the parties' agreement was a condition precedent to arbitration, and that "this arbitrability issue was one for the courts to determine, not the arbitrators." White, 641 A.2d at 1385.
The Court stated:
"We initially note that, because we favor arbitration, we will defer to this alternative method of dispute resolution if the contractual arbitration provisions fall within the grey area of arbitrability, employing the 'positive assurance' test as set out in United Steelworkers of America v. Warrior & Gulf Navigation Co., 363 U.S. 574, 582-83, 80 S. Ct. 1347, 4 L. Ed. 2d 1409 (1960). Under this test, judicial inquiry . . . must be strictly confined to the question whether the reluctant party did agree to arbitrate the grievance . . . . An order to arbitrate the particular grievance should not be denied unless it may be said with positive assurance that the arbitration clause is not susceptible of an interpretation that covers the asserted dispute." White v. Kampner, 229 Conn. at 472-73.