THE DEFENDANT SHOULD BE ESTOPPED FORM ASSERTING THE ARBITRATION CLAUSE THIS LATE IN THE LITIGATION, ESPECIALLY SINCE THEY 1) FILED A COUNTERCLAIM IN BREACH OF THEIR OWN AGREEMENT; 2) MOVED TO HAVE JUDGMENT ENTERED ON THAT COUNTERCLAIM AGAIN BREACHING THEIR OWN AGREEMENT TO HAVE ALL DISPUTES BETWEEN THE PARTIES
The defendant should be prohibited for enforcing the arbitration agreement because of (1) the extent of the time which they took to enforce the arbitration agreement, and (2) the making of a counterclaim clearly breached the agreement between the parties. The defendants breached the agreement by making a counterclaim rather than demanding arbitration and as such cannot enforce the agreement. Not only have they made a counterclaim but they have moved to enter a judgment on those pleadings.
It is black letter contract law that a material breach by either party to a bilateral contract excuses the other party from rendering any further contractual performance. Magnet Res., Inc. v. Summit MRI, Inc., 318 N.J. Super. 275, 285, 723 A.2d 976, 981 (App.Div. 1998). The court should hold that the defendants have waived their right to assert the matter should be arbitrated. The Supreme Court addressed the issue of waiver in Wein v. Morris, 194 N.J. 364, 376 (2008) and held the following: