Question: Alex Ferrer a former judge who appeared as Judge Alex
Alex Ferrer, a former judge who appeared as "Judge Alex" on a television program, entered into a contract with Arnold Preston, a California attorney who rendered services to persons in the entertainment industry. Seeking fees allegedly due under the contract, Preston invoked the clause setting forth the parties' agreement to arbitrate "any dispute . . . relating to the terms of [the contract] or the breach, validity, or legality thereof . . . in accordance with the rules [of the American Arbitration Association]." Ferrer countered Preston's demand for arbitration by fi ling, with the California Labor Commissioner, a petition in which he contended that the contract was unenforceable under the California Talent Agencies Act (CTAA) because Preston supposedly acted as a talent agent without the license required by the CTAA. In addition, Ferrer sued Preston in a California court, seeking a declaration that the dispute between the parties regarding the contract and its validity was not subject to arbitration. Ferrer also sought an injunction restraining Preston from proceeding before the arbitrator unless and until the Labor Commissioner concluded that she did not have authority to rule on the parties' dispute. Preston responded by moving to compel arbitration, in reliance on the Federal Arbitration Act. The California court denied Preston's motion to compel arbitration and issued the injunction sought by Ferrer. Was the court correct in doing so?
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