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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:RLS Legal Solutions LLC employed Amy Cobb Maida as a sales representative from 1997 to 2002. During the latter part of her employment, when Yandell Rogers was the chief financial officer of RLS, Maida signed several agreements to arbitrate disputes with RLS. But when RLS asked her to sign a new agreement in November 2001, she objected. The eight-page, single-spaced agreement contained numerous provisions related to term, compensation, noncompetition, arbitration and other subjects. Maida testified that RLS told her she would not be paid if she did not sign the agreement. RLS paid Maida a base salary every other Friday and a commission once each month by direct deposit to her account. On Nov. 2, 2001, RLS made a $1,416.59 salary payment to her account, but it made no such payment on Nov. 16, 2001, although it did make a direct deposit that day of $2,690.43 for her commission. Maida testified that she agonized over the weekend and signed the new agreement on Monday, Nov. 19, 2001, specifically telling RLS that she was signing the agreement under duress. At that time, RLS gave her a check for her salary. RLS contended that it prepared the check Friday but that Maida was not in the office that day to pick it up. Maida disputed that this happened. RLS sought to compel arbitration of the dispute, but the trial court denied the motion. The 9th Court of Appeals held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying RLS’ motion to compel arbitration of the employment dispute on the basis that RLS used economic duress to force the plaintiff to agree to arbitration. HOLDING:The petition for a writ of mandamus was granted. The parties agreed the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. �� 1-16, applied to the arbitration provision within the employment agreement. Maida, the court stated, argued that the arbitration provision was not enforceable, because RLS improperly withheld her salary payment to force her to accept the arbitration provision. The Texas Supreme Court took Maida’s version of the facts as true and assumed, without deciding, that she made out a case of economic duress. But the court found no evidence that RLS exerted duress on her to force her to agree specifically to the arbitration provision, as opposed to the agreement as a whole. On the contrary, the court stated, Maida testified that she was also dissatisfied with the compensation and commission provisions and the noncompete provision of the new agreement and that she had discussed these provisions and the arbitration provision with friends and family. Unless RLS singled out the arbitration provision from the other provisions, the claim of duress goes to the agreement generally and must be decided in arbitration. OPINION:Per curiam.

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