Q: If a contract explicitly states that any associated disputes should be adjudicated before civil court, does that allow doing so?
A: The clause is understood to mean, instead, that if the litigant will refuse to adjudicate before beis din, he can be sued in civil court. Alternatively, it may be interpreted that the parties obligate themselves before beis din to monetary regulations that are rooted in civil law, such as corporate law, that makes only the corporation’s assets liable (see Tur, C.M. 26; Sma 26:11; Aruch Hashulchan 26:4-5).Since it is generally prohibited to adjudicate before civil court, even if the two parties committed in the contract to do so, this agreement is not halachically binding. The rule of dina d’malchusa dina also does not apply here to require litigation before civil court (see C.M. 26:3-4; Shach 73:39).