The Appellate Group

Montes v. National Buick GMC

Montes v. National Buick GMC, 2023 UT App 47 (Mortensen, J.)


Montes bought a used car from National Buick. The Purchase Agreement included an integration clause, but the parties also signed an Arbitration Agreement. After a dispute between the parties, Montes sued National Buick. National Buick moved to compel arbitration. The district court denied the motion. National Buick appealed. The Utah Court of Appeals affirmed, holding:


  • The Arbitration Agreement was not admissible in the face of an integration clause because it was not a separate instrument expressly referenced by the Purchase Agreement, and there was no ambiguity in the Purchase Agreement.
  • The Arbitration Agreement was not a collateral contract.
  • Dissent: The Arbitration Agreement is a collateral agreement that is not invalid or irrelevant under the parol evidence rule.  
  • Practice Tip: Unless provided by statute, there shall be no application for costs of attorney fees made in connection with a petition for review by interlocutory appeal. This must be done by the district court when the case is finally resolved, and the prevailing party is identified.
  • Practice Tip: While it is theoretically possible that a contract bearing an integration clause could integrate additional topics under the larger umbrella of the parties’ agreement, the Court of Appeals was not certain this is a legal possibility under Utah’s prior precedent.

Read the full court opinion