At issue in this appeal is an arbitration clause of a contract for work performed by a general contractor to implement an energy services program for a school district. The arbitration clause provided disputes "may be settled by binding arbitration." In that respect, it conflicted with a request for proposals for the contract and another prior agreement between the parties for the same project, both of which mandated litigation of disputes in a judicial forum.
The court concludes the terms of the arbitration clause, when read in pari materia with the mandatory governing law provisions of the prior documents between the parties are permissive and not mandatory. Accordingly, the court affirms the Law Division order enjoining and dismissing the arbitration proceedings filed by defendant.