Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Eastwick v. Cate Street Capital, Inc.

Supreme Court of Maine

October 12, 2017

MATTHEW EASTWICK
v.
CATE STREET CAPITAL, INC.

          Argued: September 13, 2017

          Melinda J. Caterine, Esq., and David Strock, Esq. (orally), Littler Mendelson, P.C., Portland, for appellant Cate Street Capital, Inc.

          Julia G. Pitney, Esq. (orally), Drummond Woodsum, Portland, for appellee Matthew Eastwick

          Panel: SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, HJELM, and HUMPHREY, JJ.

          ALEXANDER, J.

         [¶1] Cate Street Capital, Inc., appeals from a judgment in which the Superior Court (Cumberland County, Horton, J.) granted Matthew Eastwick's application to confirm an arbitration award and denied Cate Street's competing motion to vacate that award after concluding that the parties had agreed to arbitrate disputes arising from a settlement agreement. We affirm the judgment.

         I. CASE HISTORY

         [¶2] The following facts are taken from the trial court's findings and are supported by substantial evidence in the record. See Champagne v. Victory Homes, Inc., 2006 ME 58, ¶ 8, 897 A.2d 803.

         [¶3] Eastwick was employed by Cate Street from August 2010 until February 2016 pursuant to an employment contract. That contract included a dispute resolution process that required mediation and, if mediation was unsuccessful, arbitration, with no opportunity for resolution through a court system. The dispute resolution clause in the employment contract stated:

In the event any dispute arises between the parties to this Agreement, the matter shall be submitted promptly to mediation. In the event that mediation is unsuccessful, the dispute shall be submitted for arbitration in accordance with the rule[s] of the American Arbitration Association.

         [¶4] After Eastwick left Cate Street's employ, a dispute arose under the employment contract. In accordance with the dispute resolution clause, the parties selected a mediator to address the dispute.

         [¶5] At a mediation session held on July 27, 2016, the parties reached a settlement of the dispute. To memorialize the settlement, the parties signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), which provided, in part, for (1) the termination of the employment contract; (2) an exchange of releases in "standard terms" covering all claims between the parties and requiring confidentiality; (3) payment by Cate Street to Eastwick of $100, 000 within thirty days after the effective date of the release and $15, 000 per quarter for ten quarters beginning on January 15, 2017; (4) a provision authorizing Eastwick-if Cate Street failed to make a timely quarterly payment and failed to make such payment within thirty days after demand-to "file a stipulated judgment for the outstanding amount due to him"; and (5) a provision in paragraph seven that read: "Any disputes that may arise during the drafting and execution of the settlement shall be submitted to [the same individual who conducted the mediation] for review and resolution." Drafting the MOU was a collaborative effort by all participants in the mediation.

         [¶6] After the mediation, and after signing the MOU, the parties negotiated the terms of the releases and other aspects of the settlement contemplated in the MOU. Because Eastwick and Cate Street did not agree on the final terms, the parties agreed to return to the mediator on October 11, 2016. The day before the meeting, Eastwick sent "proposed exhibits" and a "proposed order" to the mediator and to Cate Street. Eastwick's proposed order contained a provision stating that it was enforceable as an arbitration award.

         [¶7] At the October 11 meeting, the parties discussed the disputes that had arisen since the July 27 mediation. Ultimately, the mediator signed Eastwick's proposed order, which contained findings of fact and conclusions of law and required Cate Street to comply with the "Confidential Settlement Agreement and Mutual Release of Claims, " which was referred to as the "final agreement." Cate Street objected to the October 11 meeting "as being anything other than a further ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.