On January 8, 2018, the United States Supreme Court denied Bamberger-Rosenheim, Ltd.’s (also known as “Profimex”) petition for a writ of certiorari. The Supreme Court declined to review the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirming the confirmation of an arbitration award in favor of OA Development, Inc. (“OAD”). Profimex asked the Supreme Court to hear the case to consider the Eleventh Circuit’s holding that an arbitrator’s determination of arbitral venue under the parties’ arbitration agreement is entitled to deference.
Profimex had argued that the international character of the arbitration required the court to apply a more rigorous standard of review to the arbitrator’s construction of a venue provision because of alleged substantive consequences that attach to the venue of the arbitration in the international context. The Eleventh Circuit had relied on well-established law that arbitrators are presumed to decide disputes regarding arbitration procedures and agreed with four other circuit courts of appeal that disputes over the interpretation of venue selection clauses raise presumptively arbitrable procedural questions. The Supreme Court’s decision to decline review of the case allows the Eleventh Circuit’s decision and the reasoning behind it to stand.
On July 17, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed Simon Bloom and Troy Covington’s victory at the U.S. District Court where Judge Eleanor Ross confirmed the arbitration award in favor of our client OA Development, Inc. against Bamberger-Rosenheim, Ltd. Bamberger argued that OAD’s claims should not have been arbitrated in Atlanta under the applicable venue provision found in the parties’ arbitration agreement.
The Eleventh Circuit disagreed, holding that the arbitrator’s venue determination was entitled to deference. The court relied on well-established law that courts must defer to arbitrators’ determinations regarding arbitration procedures such as venue. The panel’s published opinion joined four other circuit courts of appeal in concluding that disputes over the interpretation of venue selection clauses are procedural and should be left to the arbitrator to decide as long as it was clear that the arbitrator arguably interpreted the provision in good faith. In this case, because the arbitrator plainly engaged with the language of the agreement and more than arguably interpreted the venue provision at issue, the court deferred to the arbitrator’s interpretation. Depending on further appeals, the District Court will next address OAD’s motion for attorneys fees against Bamberger.
Simon Bloom argued the appeal before the appellate panel on May 17, 2017 and Troy Covington authored the briefing.
On December 6, 2016, Bloom Sugarman Partner F. Skip Sugarman argued a major fiduciary-litigation case before the Georgia Court of Appeals. The case could ultimately have major implications for the legal standard applicable to claims of undue influence involving non-probate documents, such as trusts, deeds, and beneficiary-designation forms for life insurance and payable-on-death accounts.
Successfully obtained a $950,000 award on a defamation claim for an Atlanta-based commercial real estate developer against its Israeli-based investment company (Claimant). Claimant initially brought the arbitration claim for fees it alleged were owed to it following the sale of a real estate project for which it had secured investment funds. Claimant was also making numerous disparaging statements regarding our client to our client’s investors and to third parties. Our client filed a counterclaim for defamation. After approximately six months of discovery, which included the production of thousands of pages of documents and more than 30 depositions, and a one-week trial, the Arbitrator awarded Claimant its claimed fees based on the sale of the real estate project, but also awarded our client compensatory and punitive damages and attorneys’ fees on its defamation claim. The net result was Claimant owing our client about $450,000. Claimant has subsequently filed a petition in federal court in Atlanta to have the Arbitrator’s defamation award to our client vacated or modified.
Defended a consortium of banks against a patent assertion entity alleging infringement of its patents related to ATM technology.
Obtained summary judgment for an electronic medical record software provider against claims of patent infringement asserted by a well-known patent assertion entity.
Obtained a seven-figure settlement on behalf of a client who was improperly terminated from employment with and excluded from participating in a well established family business.
Defeated a limited partner’s attempt to attach $4M of the client’s assets prior to actually obtaining a judgment in a pending breach of partnership agreement case.
Assisted a power generation company in protecting against the misappropriation of its trade secrets related to the design of a steam-power generation plant.
Prosecuted false advertising claims relating to medical devices on behalf of a consumer products company against a competitor.