A mandatory arbitration clause in Reed Smith’s client engagement letters is unenforceable because it was not specifically signed by the client and did not inform the client of the rights he was giving up, a Philadelphia judge has ruled in an issue of first impression in the state.

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge John M. Younge rejected Reed Smith and partner Douglas Widin’s additional argument in Batoff v. Widin that the arbitration clause should be enforced in this legal malpractice action because their client was a sophisticated businessman and attorney.

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