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Click here for the full text of this decision “We interpret the forum selection clause and the arbitration provision together to mean that the contractor must file any court proceeding not precluded by the arbitration provision in the County in which the work was performed — for example, an action to enforce arbitration and render judgment on an arbitration award, or an action where arbitration has been waived.” FACTS:This appeal arises from the trial court’s order staying arbitration proceedings. New Concept Construction Co. Inc. initiated arbitration proceedings to resolve a claim against Kirbyville Consolidated Independent School District for wrongful termination of a contract. New Concept appeals the order staying arbitration. HOLDING:Reversed and rendered. The court concludes the two provisions do not irreconcilably conflict. KCISD acknowledges that the selection of Texas law to govern disputes under the contract is a typical choice of law provision and does not conflict with the arbitration section. It is Article IX’s second sentence that KCISD says irreconcilably conflicts with the arbitration clause and renders the contract ambiguous. The second sentence says the contractor shall not institute any action or proceeding on the contract except in the county where the work is to be performed. This section, however, can be harmonized with the arbitration provisions, as other courts of appeals have done with similar provisions. The forum selection provision at issue here is consistent with the arbitration provision. Article IX, the “Disputes section, does not specifically exclude arbitration. And, as provided in the Texas General Arbitration Act, trial court involvement is contemplated in the arbitration context under certain specified circumstances. Subchapter D of the Act entitled “Court Proceedings confers jurisdiction on a court to enforce an arbitration agreement and to render judgment on an arbitration award. If the court’s assistance becomes necessary during the arbitration process, or if arbitration is waived, the parties’ forum selection provision in Article IX establishes venue in the county where the work was performed. Subchapter D sets out the procedures for a party seeking to invoke a court’s jurisdiction in the arbitration context: the time for filing an application for a court order; the contents of the application to the court; the types of court orders that may be rendered; under what circumstances the court may vacate, correct, or modify an arbitration award; the court’s entry of judgment on the award; service of process on each adverse party; transfer; and appeal of the court’s judgment. For these proceedings, or in the event arbitration is waived, the forum-selection clause in the contract serves to designate the county where proceedings against the adverse party may be filed. The law strongly favors arbitration, and the Texas Supreme Court has instructed courts to resolve any doubts about arbitration agreements in favor of arbitration. Cantella & Co. Inc. v. Goodwin, 924 S.W.2d 943 (Tex. 1996); Prudential Secs. Inc. v. Marshall, 909 S.W.2d 896 (Tex. 1995). The court interprets the forum-selection clause and the arbitration provision together to mean that the contractor must file any court proceeding not precluded by the arbitration provision in the county in which the work was performed � for example, an action to enforce arbitration and render judgment on an arbitration award or an action where arbitration has been waived. The court finds no conflict between the two provisions that cannot be harmonized. OPINION:Gaultney, J.; McKeithen, C.J., Burgess and Gaultney, JJ. DISSENT:Burgess, J. “I vigorously dissent. Unfortunately, the majority, in a misguided slavish adherence to the ‘arbitrate at every opportunity’ mentality, deprives the taxpayers of the Kirbyville Consolidated Independent School District of a right they bargained and contracted for: to have their contract dispute decided by a court in Jasper County.”

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