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The Seventh District Court of Appeals recently reversed a Columbiana County, Ohio Court of Common Pleas' decision denying a party's motion to stay pending arbitration. In New Hope Community Church v. Patriot Energy Partners, L.L.C., 2013-Ohio-5882, the Seventh District held that arbitration clauses contained in oil and gas leases were enforceable even if the clause was substantively unconscionable due to the unequal bargaining power between the parties. While the unequal bargaining power rendered the arbitration clause substantively unconscionable, the clause was, nevertheless, enforceable because it was not procedurally unconscionable. Judge Waite issued a lengthy dissent. The decision on whether to insert arbitration clauses in oil and gas leases should not be taken lightly.

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