Chor v. Piper, Jaffray & Hopwood – Case Brief Summary (Montana)

In Chor v. Piper, Jaffray & Hopwood, 261 Mont. 143, 862 P.2d 26 (1993), the plaintiff entered into a "Co-Owner Account Agreement" related to the purchase of investments.

The agreement included an arbitration provision. When Chor filed suit related to her investment relationship with Piper, Jaffray, & Hopwood, the investment firm filed a motion to compel arbitration. Chor sought to avoid arbitration stating that she did not understand the arbitration provision and that the investment firm had not informed her of the legal implications of the provision. The court held the arbitration provision enforceable stating:

We are unwilling to construe ... that a stockbroker has a duty to disclose to his customers every possible misunderstanding which might be reached upon signing a contract ... We know of no case holding that parties dealing at arm's length have a duty to explain to each other the terms of a written contract. We decline to impose such an obligation where the language of the contract clearly and explicitly provides for arbitration of disputes arising out of the contractual relationship. Id. at 152.