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ROBERT LEWIS ROSEN ASSOCIATES, LTD. v. WEBB

United States District Court, S.D. New York


June 1, 2005.

ROBERT LEWIS ROSEN ASSOCIATES, LTD., Plaintiff,
v.
WILLIAM WEBB, Defendant.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: HAROLD BAER, JR., District Judge

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

Plaintiff Robert Lewis Rosen Associates, Ltd. ("RLR") seeks an Order from this Court allowing the entry of a money judgment, pursuant to this Court's previous Opinion and Order dated November 24, 2003, and subsequent Judgment dated November 26, 2003. The motion is Granted.

I. BACKGROUND

  RLR is a New York corporation that manages individuals' entertainment careers. William Webb ("Webb") used RLR's services as a personal manager, representative and advisor for his career as a television sports director until the relationship soured and RLR initiated arbitration before the American Arbitration Association. On July 31, 2003, an Award was rendered in RLR's favor and on November 24, 2003, this Court issued an Opinion and Order ("Opinion") that confirmed the Award in its entirety.

  The Arbitration Award provided, inter alia, that;

 

1. Respondent William Webb shall pay Claimant RLR the sum of Three Hundred Fifty-Five Thousand Eighty-Four Dollars and Thirty-Two Cents ($355,084.32), which reflects amounts due Claimant as of May 31, 2003. This sum includes manager's fees due, the costs of this arbitration including fees of the American Arbitration Association and the Arbitrator's compensation, attorneys' fees and other related costs. Payments shall be rendered forthwith but in no event later than thirty days after Webb's receipt of this Award.
2. Additional payments due Claimant RLR pursuant to the 2000 Fox Renewal, the 2001 MSG Renewal and the 2005 and 2006 Fox Renewal shall be made within thirty days after William Webb's receipt of these payments.
3. Interest at the rate of six per cent (6%) per annum shall accrue after payments are due in accordance with Paragraphs (1) and (2) above. Robert Lewis Rosen Assoc., Ltd. v. William Webb, 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21317 at *9-10 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 24, 2003).
  On November 26, 2003, this Court entered a separate Judgment that provided as per the Court's Opinion, "petitioner's motion to confirm the arbitration award is granted, the award of $355,084.32 with interest of 6% per annum is confirmed . . . [and] respondent's motion to vacate the award or in the alternative, for a stay is denied. . . ." Nov. 26, 2003 Judgment, Dckt. #23. The Judgment was silent with regard to "Additional payments" that may become due in the future, e.g., the 2000 Fox Renewal, the 2001 MSG Renewal and the 2005 and 2006 Fox Renewal. Each of which represents an unmatured renewal and each of which was included in the Arbitration Award and were reflected in this Court's Opinion that confirmed that Award. Robert Lewis Rosen, 2003 WL 22801698 at *9. The first Judgment did not set out the renewals since it was unknown as to whether those renewals would ever mature. The question then is whether (a) a new judgment must be fashioned and (b) is it too late.

  On February 4, 2005, RLR petitioned this Court to enter an additional judgment against William Webb with respect to these "Additional payments" which became due pursuant to the award within 30 days of payment following the networks' decision to renew Webb's contracts. Webb argues that because these payments were not spelled out in the November 26, 2003 Judgment, the money is now uncollectable. After oral argument and consideration of all the materials provided to the Court, I conclude that the Court having confirmed the Arbitration Award in its entirety, the "Additional payments" in the Arbitration Award were included and are now due and owing and RLR is entitled to such relief as was provided in the Award.*fn1 II. DISCUSSION

  Webb argues that the November 26, 2003 Judgment represents the final and complete award due to RLR and as such RLR cannot now collect commissions on the renewals. Because the Judgment does not explicitly provide for the "Additional payments," Webb argues RLR should have amended the Judgment pursuant to Rule 59(e) and the time to do so has long since passed. Creative perhaps but unavailing. This relief is not an increase in the Judgment because it was already awarded when the Court confirmed the entire Arbitration Award in its Opinion in November 2003. As such, Rule 59(e) plays no role in my decision on this issue. So a new judgment is not necessary and the renewals having only now become due, this application is not too late.

  This is a somewhat novel issue because the rationale underlying Rule 59(e) has not been applied to confirmation of arbitration awards and subsequent judgments to clarify those awards.

  When an arbitration award is confirmed, unless the court specifies otherwise, it includes the entire award. Barbier v. Shearson Lehman Hutton, Inc., 752 F. Supp. 151, 158 (S.D.N.Y. 1990), aff'd in part, rev'd in part, 948 F.2d 117 (2d Cir. 1991) (citing Florasynth, Inc. v. Pickholz, 750 F.2d 171, 176 (2d Cir. 1984)) (confirmation of an arbitration award is "a summary proceeding that merely makes what is already a final arbitration award a judgment of the court."). A judgment that confirms an arbitration award "should reflect what would have happened had the parties immediately complied with the awards instead of going to court." Americas Ins. Co. v. Seagull Compania Naviera, S.A., 774 F.2d 64, 67 (2d Cir. 1985) citing Marion Mfg. Co. v. Long, 588 F2d. 538, 541 (6th Cir. 1978). If an arbitration award is upheld in a reviewing court, the rights of the parties are determined from the date of the award and not the date of the court's judgment confirming the award. Marion Mfg., 588 F2d. at 541. Any other result would defeat the purpose of arbitration which is to finally decide the issues between the arbitrating parties without judicial intervention. As such, when this Court confirmed the Arbitration Award, it confirmed the entire Award, which necessarily includes the future contract renewal payments. Section 13 of the FAA provides that a judgment confirming an award, once entered, has the same force and effect as a judgment in a standard civil action and is "subject to all provisions of law" relating to judgments. 9 U.S.C. ยง 13. Webb argues that because the Judgment provided a specific sum and did not include language about the additional payments due to contract renewal, it was not intended to be part of the final Judgment and cannot later be changed. The relevant part of the November 2003 Judgment states that "petitioner's motion to confirm the arbitration award is granted, the award of $355,084.32 with interest of 6% per annum is confirmed . . . [and] respondent's motion to vacate the award or in the alternative, for a stay is denied. . . ." Notwithstanding the fact that the previous clause reiterates the Court's intention to confirm the Award, Webb has chosen to read ambiguity into the Judgment and contends that no additional payments can ever be due because no further monies are detailed. But because Arbitration Awards are confirmed in their entirety or specifically changed or vacated, and in this case the Court expressly denied Defendant's motion to vacate, any arguments about ambiguity or the effects of final judgment are unavailing.

  III. CONCLUSION

  For the above stated reasons RLR is entitled to judgment against William Webb in the additional sum of one hundred and six thousand, four hundred forty one dollars and seventy two cents ($106,441.72) in satisfaction of the monies owed per the Arbitration Award as a result of the 2000 Fox Renewal, the 2001 MSG Renewal and the 2005 and 2006 Fox Renewal, plus interest at the rate of six percent 6% per annum beginning 30 days from the date Webb received the payments. In addition, within 30 days from the date hereof, RLR is Ordered to provide William Webb with an accounting of all monies received to date in connection with the Arbitration Award to determine if there were any overpayment, and such overpayment, if any, will be offset against the money due. The Clerk of the Court is instructed to close this motion and any other motions and remove this case from my docket.

  IT IS SO ORDERED.


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