Hatton v. D.R. Horton, Inc. (pdf) (Tex.App.- Houston [14th  Dist.] Feb. 11, 2010)(Christopher)
arbitration agreement held enforceable in appeal from final judgment, with reference to prior grant of mandamus
relief on same facts and legal issues) (
arbitration in the employment context)
AFFIRMED: Opinion by
Justice Tracy Christopher    
Before Chief Justice Hedges, Justices Anderson and Christopher  
14-09-00054-CV   Brenda Hatton v. D.R. Horton, Inc.   
Appeal from 152nd District Court of Harris County
Trial Court Judge:
Kenneth Price Wise  


The enforceability of the arbitration clause contained in D.R. Horton, Inc.’s employee handbook
acknowledgment form is again before this Court.  As we have already twice determined that the
arbitration clause at issue here is valid and enforceable,[1] we issue this memorandum opinion and
affirm the trial court’s judgment.

Appellant Brenda Hatton began working for D.R. Horton in June of 1997 and signed its “Employee
Acknowledgment Form” (“EAF”) in 2001.  The EAF contained, among other matters, the arbitration
clause at issue here.  Hatton sued D.R. Horton in 2005 for discrimination and breach of contract.  D.R.
Horton filed a motion to dismiss and compel arbitration, and the trial court denied the motion.

In November 2006, a panel of this court conditionally granted D.R. Horton’s petition for writ of
mandamus in this lawsuit.[2]  The trial court subsequently vacated its order denying D.R. Horton’s
motion to dismiss and compel arbitration.  D.R. Horton and Hatton submitted to court-ordered binding
arbitration.  Following arbitration, the trial court entered a final take-nothing judgment in favor of D.R.
Horton on December 11, 2008.  Hatton timely filed this appeal from the trial court’s final judgment.

As she did in her response to D.R. Horton’s petition for writ of mandamus, Hatton argues the arbitration
provision contained in the EAF is unenforceable because it is (a) illusory, (b) indefinite, and (c)
unconscionable.  These are the same legal arguments made and addressed in both our prior opinion in
this case and in a similar case, D.R. Horton, Inc. v. Brooks.[3]  In these opinions, we determined the
arbitration clause at issue is valid and enforceable.  Because the legal arguments in this case are the
same as those addressed in our prior opinions, these opinions are controlling and we cite the parties to

We therefore overrule Hatton’s three issues and affirm the trial court’s judgment.

                                                                 /s/        Tracy Christopher


Panel consists of Chief Justice Hedges and Justices Anderson and Christopher.

[1] D.R. Horton, Inc. v. Brooks, 207 S.W.3d 862 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2006, orig. proceeding); D.R.
Horton, Inc. v. Hatton, Nos. 14-06-00262-CV, 14-06-00284-CV, 2006 WL 3193722, at *1 (Tex. App.—Houston
[14th Dist.] Nov. 7, 2006, orig. proceeding) (mem. op.).

[2] Hatton, 2006 WL 3193722, at *1.

[3] 207 S.W.3d at 867–870.  The arbitration clause and other provisions contained in the EAF at issue here are
set forth in Brooks; except for minor grammatical differences, the EAF signed by Hatton is the same as that set
forth in that opinion.